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The Heirs of 
Seorge 0. Dompsey 







Soc 4732.247,30 


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Collected and Arranged by 
W. T. M A R C H A N T 

" Tktnt maiy a eUntimg mt^ it made 
Jm k m t m r •ftke BlacktmitKt tr»»e ; 

&ii wmrefmr the Brrwer may be taU^ 
IVkkk MUdy can i%." 



vi Preface. 

Guildhall Library has laid me under lasting obligations, as has 
also the late Mayor of Dorchester, Alfred Pope, Esq. 

Last, but not least, a tribute of thankfulness from every book- 
maker and reader at the British Museum is due to the officials of 
that noble Institution, from the Head of the Staff to the youngest 
member thereof. I have been a reader for many years^ and have 
always received the greatest courtesy and assistance from all, and 
this is the more marked, inasmuch as I am scarcely known, in- 
dividually, even by name to any one of them. 

All the virtues of this book, therefore, do not belong to me, 
though, unquestionablyy the faults do. Trusting, therefore, that 
the public and my friends wiU — 

*^ Be to its virtues very kind. 
And to its faults a little blind," 

I launch the venture on the wave of public opinion to sink or swim 

on its own merits. 

W. T. M. 

Balham, January 18.88. 

P.S. — I began cotteclmg material for the following work years 
ago; and In May 1884 commenced a leriej of article J In the 
** Burton Chronicle." Tim terlet ran ahout twelve months^ and u 
embodied In the present work. 

During the time this hook has been passing through the press^ I 
have seen from reviews thai two scholarly books — "The Curiosi- 
ties of Ale " and " Beers of the Bible " — have appeared I 
have carefully avoided reading either of them, fVhen three writers 
take up a similar sulject^ they must necessarily traverse the same 
ground to a great extent ; and though I might have enriched my 
pages at their expense by ** conveyancing " I trust J have avoided 
any charge^ or even suspicion ^plagiarism. 


IME out of mindf Beer has been the National Bever- 
age, and its history, as embodied in songs and 
stories, will give a fair reflex of the manners and 
customs of the various periods at which they were 
written. I had intended originally to have classified my facts 
and fancies in a very severe manner, after the style of the Learned 
Smelfungus or Dryasdust, but I found objections to that plan. 
To have made my facts as bald as billiard balls, and have 
arranged them in parallelograms, would have deprived them of 
much of their charm. A book like this does not come under the 
hard and fast laws of editing, or the strict canons of criticism, but 
is rather like a song, without beginning or ending — a book to be 
taken up at odd moments, and opened at any page, without 
undue strain on the reader's consecutive attention. 

When I write my great work on squaring the circle, the 
binominal theorem, and the hydrostatic parallax, I shall fit my 
facts and ^ndes with mathematical precision. 

At the same time, I do venture to hope that the most fastidious 
reader will find nothing to offend, but much that may amuse and 
perchance instruct. I have, it is true, had to leave out very much 
that is excessively witty but too robust for the present day. 

As a rule, I have carefully acknowledged the sources of my 
information in the body of the work. I must, however, express 
my deep sense of obligation to Notej and Queriet^ and the 
erudite and kindly contributors to that pre-eminently learned, 
chatty, and useful journal. Also to Mr Edward A. Hardy, 
M. A. Cantab., for his scholarly and kindly assistance ; to Messrs 
Fred Whymper, Frank Price, John Sugg, and Robert Kempt, 
for many contributions. The courteous sub-librarian of the 

vl Preface. 

Guildhall Library has laid me onder lastbg obligatioDS, as has 
also the late Mayor of Dorchester, Alfred Pope, Esq. 

Last, but not least, a tribute of thankfulness from every book- 
maker and reader at the British Museum is due to the officials of 
that noble Institution, from the Head of the Staff to the youngest 
member thereof. I have been a reader for many years^ and have 
always received the greatest courtesy and assistance from all» and 
this is the more marked, inasmuch as I am scarcely known, in- 
dividually, even by name to any one of them. 

All the virtues of this book, therefore, do not belong to me, 
though, unquestionably, the faults do. Trusting, therefore, that 
the public and my friends will — 

*^ Be to its virtues very kind, 
And to its faults a little blind," 

I launch the venture on the wave of public opinion to sink or swim 

on its own merits. 

W. T. M. 

Balham, January i8.88. 

P.S. — / began cotteclmg maierial for the following work years 
ago; and In May 1884 commenced a series of articles in the 
** Burton Chronicle.'' This series ran ahout twelve months^ and is 
embodied in the present work. 

During the time this book has been passing through the pressy I 
have seen from reviews that two scholarly books — " The Curiosi- 
ties of Ale " and " Beers of the Bible ''—have appeared I 
have carefully avoided reading either of them. When three writers 
take up a similar su^ecty they must necessarily traverse the same 
ground to a great extent; and though I might have enriched my 
pages at their expense by "conveyancing" I trust J have avoided 
any charge^ or even suspicion of plagiarism. 










. • 



. • 




















viii Contefits. 



aurmi ziii. 

TRADE SONGS 475-49< 


ALE WIVES 504-513 

BREWERS 514-540 



BLACK BEER 574-5^5 


WARM ALE 599^13 

FACTS, SCRAPS, AND ANA .... 6 1 4-63 2 




** Mine hast was full of ale and history. 


** Therms many a clinking song is made 
In honour of the Mack smithes trade; 
But more for the brewer may be said^ 
Which nobody can deny,** 

It it a matter of surprise that no one has hitherto made a 
collection of the many rich, rare, and racy songs in praise 
of what certainly has been the National Beverage — together 
with its constituents, malt and hops — time out of mind, and 
long before the Christian era. Of merely Bacchanalian songs we 
hare a saperabondance ; but barley belongs to Ceres more than to 
the drooken god and his noisy satellites, — at least so says Milton, 
and he knew; Phillips, another classical scholar, follows the same 
idea m hit ^ Cerealia." Then let old Bacchus yield the prize, 
or both divide the crown. 

•* Far hence be Bacchus' gifts (the chief rejoin'd) : 
Inflaming wine, pernicious to mankind, 
Unnerves the limbs, and dulls the noble mind*" 

2 In Praise of Ale. 

'* All the hinds bend low at Ceres' shrine ; 
Mix honey sweet for her with milk and mellow wine. 
Thrice lead the victim the new fruits around, 
And Ceres call, and choral hymns resound.'' 

Beer, however, in conjunction with mighty roast beef, has made 
England what it is, or rather, what it was before the introduction 
of ** silent-stills," Hambro' sherry, prune wbe, potato spirits, or 
chemically prepared ^ fizz," which resembles the real article as 
** champagne Charlie " does a gentleman. 

Accum in his day forcibly pomted out the evils of chemically 
prepared and doctored wines : — ** There is in this city a certain 
fraternity of chemical operators who work underground in holes, 
caverns, and dark retirements, to conceal their mysteries from the 
eyes and observations of mankind. They can squeeze claret out 
of the sloe, and draw champagne from an apple," — would it were 
nothing worse. Virgil seems to have had this calling m his 
mind's eye when he penned that remarkable prophecy — 

** Incultisque rubens pendebit sentibus uva." 

Eclogue iv., 29. 
which Dryden renders — 

*' The ripening grape shall hang on every thorn." 

The complaint that I now make of the prevalence of inferior 
wines and spirits was made long ago by Smollett ; Squire Matt 
Bramble being his spokesman : — ^ Well, there is no nation that 
drinks so hoggishly as the English. What passes for wine among 
OS is not the juice of the grape. It is an adulterous mixture, 
brewed op of nauseous ingredients by dunces, who are bunglers in 
the art of poison-making ; yet we and our forefathers are, and 
have been, poisoned by this cursed drench without taste or flavour. 
The only genuine and wholesome beverage in England is London 
porter and Dorchester table beer ; but as for your ale and your 
gin, your cider and your perry, and all the trashy family of made 
wines, I detest them as infernal compositions contrived for the 
destruction of the human species. But what have I to do with 
the human species \ except a very few friends, I care not if the 

Introduction, 3 

whole was ." It is, howeTer, satisfactory to find that 

Engliih brewers generally maiDtain their well-earned reputation 
abroad as well as at home. 

Potsiblyi says a modem writer, the excessive stolidity of the 
German beer-drinkers may arise from deleterious drugs used in 
its composition^ for we learn that the Repertoire de Pbarmade 
pronounces it to be coloured with sulphobenzazodimethylamin. 
"^ * is certainly a good mouthful to swallow. 

** The glass enjoy'd by reason's plan 
The sinking heart bears up : 
Heaven gave the gift for comfort — 
Man put poison m the cup.** 

Mr. Leckyt in his History of the Eighteenth Century, points 
out the evils which arose when beer, as the national drink, was 
partially discarded : — ** When the distilleries were first allowed, 
the country passed, much to its injury, from a beer-drinking to a 
gin-drinking people ; the births fell off, and the deaths, especially 
from dropsy, greatly increased. In consequence of the excessive 
quantities of ardent q>irits drank by the English working-classes in 
the reign of George L, a duty of twenty shillings per gallon was 
imposed on all spirits." — 9 Geo. L, c. 23. 

A modem versifier shows truly enough the evil effects of 
cheap, and, inevitably, nasty spirits on the poor, and the rich, too, 
for that matter : 

•* For the want of a drop of good beer 
Drives lots to tipples more dear. 

And they licks their wives 

And destroys their lives. 
Which they would not ha' done upon beer." 

Howell, writing about 1620^ stated that some doctors and 
surgeons, during their attendance on an English gentleman who 
was diseased at Paris, discoursed on wines and other beverages ; and 
one physician, who had been in England, said : — ** The English 
had a drink which they called ale, and which he thought the 
wholeaomest liquor that could be drank ; for whereas the body 

A a 

4 In Praise of Ale. 

of man is supported by natural heat and radical moisture, there is 
no drink conduceth more to the preservation of the one and the 
increase of the other than ale ; for, while the Englishmen drank 
only ale, they were strong, brawny, able men, and could draw an 
arrow an ell long, but when they fell to wine and beer, they are 
found to be much impaired in their strength and age." And so 
the ale bore away the bell among the doctors. 

Another early writer thus descants on the virtues of English 
ale and beer : — **^ The usuall and naturall drink of the country 
is beer, so called from the French word haire^ (for wines they 
have not of their own growing ;) which, without controversie, is 
a most wholesome and nourishing beverage; and being trans- 
ported into France, Belgium, and Germany, by the working 
of the sea is so purged, that it is amongst them in highest 
estimation, and celebrated by the name of i^ hmne Beere d^Angle^ 
terre. And as for the old drink of England, ale, which cometh 
from the Danish word oela^ it is quesdonless in itself, (and 
without that commixture which some are accustomed to use with 
it), a very wholesome drink." 

The Quarterly (vol. xcvL p. 485) stetes: — *«That the porter 
and stout of the Metropolis have long been ^mous, the virtues of 
the latter drink are celebrated all over the world ; and a Roj^al 
Duke, not many years ago, ascribed the great mortality of the 
Guards in the East to the want of their favourite beverage." 

There always will be some men of perverted tastes who prefer 
coarse spirits to wholesome beer for the sake of keeping up 
appearances. Such men are only fit to drink potato spirits, d la 
Punch's recipe : — 

** A pound of potatoes come peel, peel for me, 

Give those who prefer it pure gin ; 
No matter what sort, so poutoes they be 

Divested with care of their skin. 
For oh, when the cares of the day are gone by, 

And a man is disposed to grow frisky, 
A pound of potatoes at once let him buy 

To make him a < go ' of good whisky." 

Introduction. 5 

To tike a still more recent example fh>m the Paris corre- 
^KNident of Truth: — ^'Drankenness used not to be a French 
▼ice; but what with the destruction of the ?ines by the 
phyUoxera, the manufacture of brandy out of beet root and 
potatoes, the beer devoid of malt and hops which floods the caf^, 
and the drugged wine, the race is going to the dogs in the 

I am conrbced that the evils of drunkenness have increased 
since the fitthion of cheap <*goes" of spirits came into general 
vogne some years ago. 

It is so easy to order another round when it is ^ only tuppence 
a go.'' If men would remember that good ale is fiu* more whole- 
some and nutritious than cheap and necessarily inferior qjirits or 
doctored wines, they would be better in purse, person, and animal 
spirits themselves. 

I would that I could also (even at the risk of being stigmatised 
as an ^xMtle of Beer) induce all brewers to concoa the genuine 
beverage and discard such unknown, compounds as hop or malt 
sabitttntes. I fear that many brewers have not always been free 
from Uame. They should remember the dignity of dieir calling, 
as embodied in the following ancient epigram : — 

^Aa M. Brewer Medicum. 

** This phrase to drink a health is only trew 
Of drink which men of your profession brew.'* 

Of a similar character also is the following : — 

*^ Such maltsters who ill measure give for gain, 
Are not mere rogues, but also rogues in grain." 

Before leaving this branch of the subject it may be as well to 
inquire what beer is. Mr. H. S. Carpenter, F.I.C., F.C.S., of 
the Society of Public Analysts, answers this question compre- 
hensively in the following letter to the Times : — 

''So much nonsense has recendy been written about 'hop- 
substitutes ' that I am tempted to write a few lines in the hope of 
clearing away some of the fog that prevails on the subject 

6 In Praise of Ale. 

^ Pint, then. What it beer ? At the preteot time it can only 
be defined aa *a fennented liquid containing some wholesome 

^It will be seen that this definition includes any form of 
saccharine matter, together with suclv bitters as gentian, quassia, 
calumba, chiretta, &c., while such ingredients as picrotoxin, being 
notoriously pernicious, would be excluded* 

^The question to be decided, it appears to me, is whether it 
is fiur to put the brewer who uses honest malt and hops on the 
same level as another who uses starch saccharified by acid and 
' hop-substitutes/ 

^The public should decide this for themselves by insisting on 
finding out from their brewer what kind of a decoction he is 
duj^lying them with." 

Sir Arthur Bass (Baron Burton), however, speaking on behalf 
of the firm of which he is the head, and also for all the Burton 
brewers, assured the French brewers that the excellence of the 
English beer was solely due to the quality of the malt, hops, and 
water, which formed the sole ingredients. If therefore I could 
persuade the public to revert back to the National Beverage, 
instead of coarse fiery spirit, I feel confident that I shall have 
done something towards promoting real temperance, and that in 
a natural and rational manner. 

^ I think that some have died of drought. 
And some have died of drinking." 

I know for certain, however, that the happy medium is the 
golden rule of life. I can and do honour those who abstain, from 
conscience^ sake, as an example to their weaker brethren ; but 
I cannot look upon a reformed drunkard as the highest type of 
humanity, though I smcerely respect the motives that led to his 
new departure. 

I should be sorry indeed to write anything that would unsettle 
any man's moral or religious convictions. It is &r easier to sneer 
at and shake a man's faith than it is to implant a newer and 
better one \ and the writer who attempts to do the former incurs 
a grave responsibility. I agree heartily with Mr. G. A. Sala, 

Introduction. 7 

wiw wnNe from Australia: — *'I do not believe in total abstinence, 
nattooafly. I am inclined to fear lest a total abstainbg nation 
•hoald become a gluttonous, grasping, selfish, tyrannical, morose, 
and intolerably conceited nation ; but I do believe in the prac- 
ticability of a traditionally hard-drinking nation — we have been 
drinking bard for twelve hundred years — growing gradually less 
dranken, and 1 hope to have ere long occasion to show that the 
habits tend very conspicuously indeed in the direction of modera- 
tioo in the use of strong drink." 

^ An' he that scorns ale to his victual 

Is welcome to let it alone ; 
There's some can be wise wi' a little, 

An' some that are foolish wi' noan ; 
An' some are so quare i' their natur', 

That nought wi' their stomachs agree, 
But he that would liefer drink wayter 

Shall never be stinted by me." 

I would allow every man the fullest license to please himself ; 
and this amount of toleration I claim from the abstinence party, 
—every one to his taste : — 

** 'Tis sweet the nectar of the gods to quaff, 
And very pleasant b the rosy wine. 
Refreshing is the taste of half-and-half. 

But of all drinks, cold water shall be mine." 

Americans of the present day are showing themselves to be 
wiser than their immediate forerunners, since beer is rapidly 
repladng the fantastic ^Mrinks" for which the United States 
have earned a reputation, and is in a fair way to become their 
national beverage. The quantity of beer now consumed is, in 
proportion to the population, eleven times as great as it was forty 
years ago. An author who writes with authority from the 
country, states confidently that tobacco is silently and 
undermining the constitutions of more young men 
than liquor. 

8 hi Praise of Ale. 

Water drinkere are not free from danger ; even when imbiUng 
the so-called pure and limpid element, there are — 

Dangers : 

*' And if from man's vile arts I flee 

And drink pure water from the pump, 

I gulp down infusorige, 

And quarts of raw bacteriae, 

And hideous rotators. 

And wriggling polygastricae. 

And slimy diatomacese, 

And hard-shelled ophryocercinse, 

And double-barrelled kolpodz, 

Non-Ioricated amboedae, 

And various animalculae, 

Of middle, high and low degree. 
For Nature just beats all creation. 
In multiplied adulteration." 

On the other hand, for those who sell adulterated beer, malt, 
or hops, no punishment can be too great. In the olden days, the 
hurdle and pillory swiftly overtook the evil doers, and the then 
*' Adulteration of Food and Drugs Act " was quickly enforced 
in a telling manner. 

John Barleycorn.^ 

** Those were the days of old, 
When Britain's sons so brave and bold. 
Their noble hearts to cheer, 
Could quaff John Barleycorn tax free. 
Scorning Souchong and black Bohea, 
They'd drink of the bright, the home-brew'd beer — 
There's nothing so good the heart to cheer. 
No ! ambrosia fine 'tis as good as wine, 
Clear, strong, and richer than good Rhine wine. 
Hurrah ! nothing like beer, like old English beer, hurrah ! 

* Printed by permiiMoo of Meairt. Aahdown Ac Parry, Hanover Square. 
Word! by Mr. W. Weft. 

Introduction. 9 

What it it that makes an Englishman brave. 

Sooner than q>irit8 that send to the grave ? 

Barley drink divine ! 

Better than all your meagre wine. 

Weakening stuff your poor thin wine ; 

Then fill up a cup with hearty cheer, 

There's nothing like beer the heart to cheer. 

No ! ambrosia fine 'tis good as wine, 

Cle^r, strong, and richer than good Rhine wme. 

Hurrah ! nothing like beer, like old English beer, hurrah ! " 

We hear a great deal now of the degeneracy of the times, 
the dnmken habits of workmen, and so on, as we hear, per contra, 
of the good old days when George the IIT. was King, the 
Augustan Age, the Georgian Era, and the golden days of Good 
Queen Bess, &c. &c. Now, the golden age never leaves the 
world ; it exists still, and shall exist till love, health, poetry, valour, 
and patriotism are no more. The Victorian Age will shine 
as br^htly in history as did ever any epoch of oiu- country. We 
cannot always realise the fact, because we are in it and surrounded 
with the mists and turmoils of the present, which obscure our 
mental vision. We see the evil which exists, but we cannot 
fuDy realise the good One thing I should like to see revived, 
and that is the patriarchal relationship which formerly existed 
b etween masters and men. Those were the times when both 
partiefl had bonds and sympathies in common ; and these mutual 
feelings existed almost to the present day, ere political economy 
set class against class, and severed the connection. The poor 
and rich, or rather the yeoman class, had their work and pleasures 
in common. Scott puts it: — 

^ A Christmas gambol oft would cheer. 
The poor man's heart through half the year; " 

but these reunions occurred much more frequently. There were 
Whitsun Ales, Sheep-Shearings, Hay Harvest, Harvest Home, 
Michaelmas, and other periodical rejoicings that lightened the 
labours of the poor. The writings of Tusser and Herrick 
abundantly prove this, and show how the enjoyments at different 

lo In Praise of Ale. 

seasons were ceJebrated. On the other hand, the masters did 
not shirk their share of hard work ; they took their ** nuncheons " 
and ^nammits" in common; and the mutual sympathy thus 
evolved, brought both classes closely together. 

** They did not ride Blood horses as varmers* wives do now, 
The daughters went a milken, and the sons went out to plough. 
Such as I have heard my parents say was ninety yeara ago." 

Reelecting the subject of feasts, fairs, mops, ales, and amuse- 
ments of the poor of a by-gone age. In the olden days these 
festivals had a religious element, and the reverence attached 
thereto kept their wakes and feasts pure. In latter times the 
reverence became a thing of the past, and license or unlicense 
succeeded harmless enjoyment and innocent fun. 

^ Ye church-ales and ye morrises 

With hobby-horse advancing. 
Ye round games with fine Jim and Sis 

About the May-pole dancing, 
Ye nimble joints, that with red points 

And ribbons deck the bridal. 
Lock up your pumps, and rest your stumps. 

For yon are now down cried all." 

^ We hundreders of Nibley " (in the Cotswold district), says 
old John Smith, whose writings are preserved in the Berkeley 
manuscripts — ^ We hundreders," and he was proud of the term, 
^are di^iosed to look on the cheerful side of things, and to 
countenance the hilarity of wakes and &ir8 and village festivals in 
opposition to Puritan dislike of these popular customs." The 
custom of Cowley Pike, an eminence in his neighbourhood, was 
pleasant to him, ^ where to behold younge men and maids 
ascendinge and descencfinge and boies tumbling down, especially 
on communion dais in the aftemoones what times the resort is 
greatest, bringeth no small delight to many of the elder soit, also 
delightmge therein." 

Mr. Tom Hugfies has liit the right nail on the head in his 
inimitaUe work, ^ Tom Brown's Schooldays." I prefer to quote 

Introduction. 1 1 

hit words rather than my own, though I know the district to 
which he refers, and can heartily endorse every word he has 
wntten. Speaking of the annual "veast" and hiring, or « Statty" 
fairs m the Vale of the Whitehorse as held some forty years since : 
*^ They are much altered for the worse, I am told. I haven't 
been at one these twenty years, but I have been at the statute Burs 
m some west-country towns, where servants are hired; and greater 
abominations cannot be found. What village feasts have come 
to^ I fear, in many cases, may be read in the pages of Teast 
(though I never saw one so bad — thank God !) Do you want 
to know why ? It is because, as I said before, gentlefolk and 
fiumers have left off joining or taking an interest in them. They 
don't either subscribe to the prizes, or go down and enjoy the 
fim. Is this a good or a bad sign ? I hardly know. Bad, 
sure enough, if it only arises ^m the further separation of classes 
consequent on twenty years of buying cheap and selling dear, and 
its accompanjring over-woric ; or because our sons and daughters 
have their hearts in London club-life, or so-called society, 
instead of in the old English home duties ; because farmers' sons 
are apbg fine gentlemen, and farmers' daughters caring more to 
make bad foreign music than good English cheeses. Good, 
perhaps, if it be that the time for the old * veast ' has gone by, 
that it is no longer the healthy, sound expression of English 
country holiday-making ; that, in &ct, we as a nation have got 
beyond it, and are in a transition state, feeling for and soon likely 
to find some better substitute. Only I have just got this to say 
before I quit the text Don't let reformers of any sort think 
that they are going really to lay hold of the working boys and 
young men of England by any educational grapnel whatever, 
which hasn't some bona JuU equivalent for the games of the old 
country * veast ' in it ; something to put in die place of the 
back-swording, and wrestling, and racing ; something to try the 
muscles of men's bodies, and the endurance of their hearts, to 
make them rejoice in their strength. In all the new-fangled 
comprehensive plans which I see, this is all left out; and the 
consequence is that your great Mechanics' Institutes end in 
intellectual priggism, and your Christian Young Men's Societies 

12 In Praise cf Ale. 

in religious PharisaisixL WeU, well, we must bide our time. 
Life isn't all beer and skittles — but beer and skittles, or some- 
thing better of the same sort, must form a good part of every 
Englishman's education. If I could only drive this into the heads 
of you rising parliamentary lords, and young swells who ' have 
your ways made for you,' as the saying is — ^you, who frequent 
palaver houses and West End clubs, waiting always ready to 
strap yourselves on to the back of poor dear old John, as soon as 
the present used-up lot (your fathers and uncles), who sit there 
on the great parliamentary-majorities' pack-saddle and make 
believe the3r're guiding him with their red-tape bridle, tumble, or 
have to be lifted off!" 

Then, again, the speech of young Brook, the cock of the 
school, to the boys, is one which older men, and especially youths, 
would do well to lay to heart : — 

'* Bullies are cowards, and one coward makes many ; so good- 
bye to the school-house match if bullying gets ahead here — (loud 
applause from the snoall boys). Then there's fuddling about in 
the public-houses, and drinking bad spirits, and punch, and such 
rot-gut stufE That won't make good drop-kicks or chai^rs of 
you, take my word for it. You get plenty of good beer here, 
and that's enough for you; and drinking isn't fine or manly, 
whatever some of you may think of it." 

Bravo, Mr. Tom Hughes ! Those lines were written before 
the civilisation oi the 19th century had evolved ^the smart 
youth," "the pushing young man," the "cutting tradesman," 
"the infant Stockbroker," and other by-products of gin and 
bitters, "Hambro* sherry," "prune wine," and such-like elements 
of demoralisation. 

The difference between the old and the new style of treatment 
are well expressed in the 2nd verse of the following song : — 

Thb Roast Beef of Old England. 


" When mighty roast beef was the Englishman's food. 
It ennobled our hearts and enriched our blood. 
Our soldiers were brave and our courders were good. 

Introduction, 1 3 

O ! the roast beef of old EDgland ! 
And O ! for old England's roast beef I 

^ Out fathers of old were robust, stout, and strong, 

And kept open house, with good cheer all day long, 
Which made Uieir plump tenants rejoice in this song — 
O ! the roast beef of old England ! 
And O I for old England's roast beef ! 

** When good Queen Elizabeth sat on the throne. 
Ere cofiee, or tea, or such slip-slops were known. 
The world was in terror if e'er she did frown. 
O ! the roast beef of old England ! 
And O ! for old England's roast beef! " 

Possibly there has been too much dragooning and lecturing 
the poor, too much ** organising " of their pleasures and charities, 
and above all, utilising them for political purposes ; and the real 
bond of union between master and man has become weakened, if 
not severed entirely. The whole-hearted Christian and witty 
Canon of St Paul's foresaw this when he penned these lines : — 

M What shall the poor drink ? How shall they drink it — in 
pint cups or quart mugs — hot or cold — ^in the morning or the 
evening. Whether the Three Pigeons shall be shut up, and the 
Shoulder of Mutton be opened. Whether the Black Horse shall 
continue to swing in the air, or the White Horse, with animated 
crest and tail, no longer portend spirits within. All these great 
questions depend upon little clumps of squires and parsons gathered 
together m alehouses in the month of September — so portentous 
to publicans and partridges, to sots and sportsmen, to guzzling and 
game. There are two alehouses in the village, the Red Horse 
and the Dun Cow. Is it common sense to suppose that these two 
publicans are not desirous of gaining customers from each other ? 
— and that the means they take are not precisely the same as those 
of important inns — by procuring good articles, and retailing them 
with civility and attention. We really do not mean to. accuse 
English magistrates of ill-nature, for in general there is a good 
deal of kindness and consideration among them, but they do not 

14 Jn Praise of Ale, 

drink ale, aod are apt to forget the importance of ale to the common 
people. When wine-drinkers regulate the liquor and comfort of 
ale-drinkers, it is much as if camivoroos animals should regulate 
the food of graminivorous animals — as if a lion should cater for 
an oxy or a coach-horae order dinner for a leopard. There is no 
natural capacity or incitement to do the thing well — no power in 
the Hon to distinguish between clover and cow thistles — ^no dis- 
position in the coach-horse to discriminate between the succulence 
of a young kid and the distressing dryness of a superannuated cow. 
The want of sympathy is a source of inattention and a cause of 
eviL The immense importance of a pint of ale to a conmion 
person should never be overlooked ; nor should a good-natured 
justice forget that he is acting for Liliputians, whose pains and 
pleasures lie m a very narrow compass, and are but too apt to be 
treated with contempt and neglect by their superiors. Public- 
houses are not only the inns of the travelling poor, but they are 
the cellars and parlours of the stationary poor. A gentleman has 
his own public-house, locked up in a square brick bin : London 
Particular — Chalier 1802 — Carbonell 1803 — Sir John's freieni 
of Hock at ny marriage ; bought at the Duk^t tale — East India 
Madeira — Lc^te — Noyau — Maraschino. Such are the domestic 
resources of him who is to regulate the potations of the labourer. 
And away goes this subterraneous Bacchanalian, greedy of the 
grape, with his feet wrapped up in flannel, to increase, on the 
licensbg day, the difficulties of obtaining a pot of beer to the 
lower orders of mankind! — and believes, as all men do when 
they are deciding upon other persons' pleasures, that he is actuated 
by the highest sense of duty, and the deepest consideration for the 
wel£uie of the lower orders. In an advanced state of civilisation, 
there must be always an advanced state of misery. In the low 
public-houses of great cities very wretched and very criminal 
persons are huddled together in great masses. But is a man to 
die supperless in a ditch because he is not rich, or even because he 
is not innocent ? A pauper felon is not to be driven into despair 
and turned into a wild beast. Such men must be, and such men 
must eat and sleep, and if laws are wise and police vigilant we do 
not conceive it to be any evil that the haunts of such men are 

Introduction. 1 5 

knowOy and in some degree subject to inspectioii. What is meant 
by respectable public-bouses are houses where ail the customers are 
rich and opulent. But who will take in the refuse of mankind, if 
monopoly allows him to choose better customers ? There is no 
end to this mischievous meddling with the natural arrangements of 
society. It would be just as wise to set magistrates to digest 
for mankind, as to fix for them in what proportion any 
particular wants of their class shall be supplied. But there 
are excellent men who would place the moon under the care of 
magistrates^ in order to improve travelling, and make things safe 
and comfortable." 

William King puts the foregoing in a neat epigram : — 

^ Where love of wealth and rusty coin prevail. 
What hopes of sugar'd cakes or nut-brown ale." 

Respecting the future consumption of the National Beverage, 
a writer in a well-informed Trade Journal remarks, that : — 

M There are some people in the ranks of the various self-styled 
Temperance Societies and Associations, who are so sanguine as 
to believe, or so foolhardy as to express the belief, that in some 
not very distant future the practice of beer-drinking in England 
will give way to the practice of water-drinking, or, at all events, 
that what they admit b now the National Beverage will some 
day be superseded, by one or other of the numerous deleterious 
concoctions, aerated and otherwise, which are now offered for 
sale at the cofiee < palaces' and other teetotal establishments. 
They profess to found their hope upon the undoubted ^ling off, 
during the first portion of the present year, in the consumption of 
beer, as proved by the Excise statistics. But an examination of 
these statistics will not, we think, lead an impartial observer to 
the conclusion that the brewing trade, if left to itself, will cease 
to be a profitable investment, or that Englishmen and women are 
prepared to abandon the wholesome stimulant at the dictation of 
those who, somewhat late in the day, have made the astounding 
discovery, that the beverage upon which our forefathers feasted 
and throve for centuries, is nothing more nor less than deadly 

1 6 In Praise of Ale. 

This coiuamiiiation will occur when the following ^ News " 
is confirmed. These news items were retailed in 1660, and 
appear in Ritson's collection^ and are a £dr q>ecimen of the then 
humorous style. 

" Now, gentlemen, if you will hear, 
Strange news as I will tell to you, 
Wherever you go, both far and near, 
You may boldly say that this is true. 

'* When Charing Cross was a pretty little boy, 
He was sent to Roroford to sell swine \ 
His mother made a cheese and he drunk up the whey, 
For he never lov'd strong beer, ale, nor wine. 

^ When all the thieves in England died. 
That very year fell such a chance. 
That Salisbury Plain would on horseback ride, 
And Paris-Gardens carry the news to France. 

** When all the lawyers they did plead. 
All for love and not for gain. 
Then 'twas a jovial world indeed ; 
The Blue Boar of Dover fetch'd apples out of Spam. 

** When landlords they did let their farms 
Cheap, because their tenants paid dear ; 
The weather-cock of Paul's turned his tail to the wind. 
And tinkers they left strong ale and beer. 

^ When misers all were grieved in mind 
Because that com was grown so dear, 
The man in the moon made Christmas pyes. 
And bid the seven stars to eat good cheer. 

^ But without a broker or coney catcher, 
Paul's Churchyard was never free ; 
Then was my Lord Mayor become a house-thatcher, 
Which was a wondrous sight to see. 

Introduction. 1 7 

** When Bazing-Stooe did swim t^n Thames^ 
And twore all thieves to be just and true. 
The sumnore and bailiffs were honest men. 
And pease and bacon that year it snew. 

^ When every man had a quiet wife. 

That never would once scold or chide, 
Tom-Tinker of Turvey, to end all strife. 
Roasted a pig in a Uew cowes hide.'' 

Those people who seek to lead the fashion by aping Royalty 
in dress, drinking, and eating, would do well to remember that 
good ale was erstwhile the staple beverage at royal and noble 
banquets, long before Autolycus gave currency to a then old 

^ A quart of ale is a dish for a king ; " 

and it was certainly a dish for a queen too, in the time of 
Elizabeth, when she and her maids of honour had one quart 
each as their breakfast allowance ; and at what period of our 
history did fairer women or braver men exist? From the 
time of King Arthur downwards, history has recorded the 
names of kings who fought well and governed wisely, and 
yet loved their jolly good ale and old. King John is said to 
have died of a surfeit of new ale and peaches; but then he 
drank not wisely, but too well. Sir John Barleycorn was the 
strongest knight m the lists ; and the solitude of Mary Queen of 
Scots was solaced by a barrel of Burton, which was always 
kept on tap. In our own time we have the memory of that 
historic glass of bitter, which that beau ideal of an English gentle- 
man, the Prince of Wales, called for, and which formed the turning- 
point of his long and dangerous illness. Whereupon the mighty 
heart of the nation beat with an exceeding great joy. 

Drummond of Hawthomden cared not who made the laws 
so long as his wise friend had a hand in the ballads, when 
the nation would be governed rightly. I know not whether 
Drummond drew the long bow or not, but I know that a 
collection of the songs of a country give complete and truthful 


1 8 In Praise of Ale. 

pictoret of the various times in which they were written, and 
reflect the habits, manners, and modes of thought, then prevailing, 
and so form the true basis of history ; and such a collection I 
have endeavoured to bring together. To quote the learned and 
accomplished Mr. Ebsworth, editor of the Bagshaw, and other 
collections of ballads — 

** He who would trace the ages pass'd away, 
And see old English homesteads round him rise, 
Fill'd with the men and women of their day. 
Must list these echoes of their melodies." 

As Drake very properly says of ballads in his ^ Life and Times 
of Shakespeare," — " If some little prejudice in favour of these 
compoations be given by the association in our ideas of their 
antiquity, if we connect some reviviscence and some increased 
force with expressions which were in favourite use with those who 
for two centuries have slept in the grave, the profound moral 
philosopher will neither blame nor regret this efiect. It is among 
the oMMt generous and most ornamental, if not among the most * 
useful, habits of the mind." 

Fielding and Smollett were both lovers of good beer, for, as a 
modem writer points out, beer overflows in almost every volume. 
There never was a hero who had a more healthy relish for a cool 
tankard than Tom Jones. There is an incident which all will 
recollect in the story of Booth's Amelia, that positively elevates 
brown stout into the region of the pathetic. As for Smollett, the 
score which Roderick Random and Strap ran up with the 
plausible old schoolmaster, &ncying all the while he is teaching 
them, IS, perhaps, too rural an incident for our present purpose ; 
but the pot of beer with which Strap made up the quarrel with 
the soldier, after the misadventure which attended his first attempt 
to dive for a dinner, was of genuine London brewing. 

I take it that the first songs in praise of ale and the customs 
associated therewith were the early Christmas carols. This was 
only following a natural sequence. The Christian's feasts and 
rejoicings came at the same periods as did the heathen celebrations, 
and as the Basilica came to be transformed into a Christian place 

Introduction. 1 9 

of wonhip, and the recogniaed form of charch architecture, so 
the heathen obsenrances became purified and sanctified to a higher 
form of worship, whilst still engrafted on old observances. To 
show the vitality of such customs, I have many a time seen 
countrymen, befoie quaffing of the tankards themselves, pour a 
modicum of liquor on the floor or the ground *^for luck." 
They would have been probably surprised to learn that they were 
perpetuating the worship of mother earth by pouring out her due 

Of the carols which will appear in due place, the phrase nowell, 
oowell, is of frequent occurrence. The learned Mr. Hunt, in 
his drolls or legends of the fairies of Cornwall, defines this greeting 
to be a corruption of the words, *'Now well, now well," as being 
the words used by the angel in announcing the Nativity — 

** Now well ! Now, well ! the angel did say, 
To certain poor shepherds who in the fields did lay.'' 

In the Percy Society's publications, this greeting, transcribed 
from the Sloane MSS., reads : — 

" Nowell-el-el-el-el-el-el-el-el-el-el, Mary was gret with 

These words certainly do not appear in the authorised version 
of the first Christmas carol, the grandest pxan in this or any 
other language under the sun, *' Glory to God in the highest — 
on earth peace, good will towards men/' 

The later carol writers lost this sublimity of thought and gran- 
deur of language, and became what to our minds is somewhat 
profane, in their treatment of the carol — 

" Bring us in good ale, bring us in good ale. 
And for our blessM Lady's sake, bring us in good ale." 

This was the burden of some of these carols ; but we must not 
judge either the writers or the singers by the modem standard of 
uste or the canons of criticism. They did the best according to 
their lights. Whilst on the subject of religious observances, I 
cannot refrain from making the following extract of an article 

B 2 

20 In Praise of Ale. 

which appeared in the Mormng Advertucr^ May 14, 1885, from 
the pen of a weU-mformed writer : — 

*^The trace of brutality which hangs about so many of our 
English practices finds unpleasant expression in this matter. 
Originally this custom was a graceful and almost poetical one. 
It began in the early days of Greece as a festival in honour of 
springy when processions were formed, and rhythmic hymns 
chanted as a species of recognition of the unseen powers — ' the 
unknown gods ' of St, Paul — who presided over the growing crops 
and sprouting vines and olives. From Greece it .passed to Rome, 
idiere the Ambarvalia, or festival in honour of Ceres, became 
mixed up with the Terminalia, or feasts of Terminus, the pro- 
tecting divinity of boundaries and landmarks. In Rome the 
celebration of these festivities was always in February, but when 
they were removed to Britain the colder climate and later seasons 
made it expedient that they should be postponed to May. When 
in course of time England became Christian, the churchmen very 
wisely refused to abolish the pretty custom, and so at a very early 
period indeed the feasts of Ceres and Terminus were replaced 
by what our Anglo-Saxon ancestors (with apologies to Mr. 
Freeman for the use of so heterodox a word) called 'Gange 
days/ during which the clergy and people perambulated the parishes 
and laid down the limits of their respective territories. As the 
church grew stronger more was made of this season. The Sunday 
before Ascension Day was called Rogation Sunday, and the three 
days intervening Rogation Days. Before the Reformation it was 
usual for the greater part of the populations of the various parishes 
to walk in procession with cross and banner from one to another 
of the wayside crosses which were set up partly as landnuu'ks and 
pardy as objects of devotion. On their way they would sing 
litanies, and at each cross there would be special prayers and 
sermons on the duty of thankfulness for the kindly fruits of the 
earth. The 104th Psalm was chanted to the ancient plain song, 
and at each station the curate repeated the comminatory clause, 
< Cursed be he who translated! the bounds and doles of his neigh- 
bour,' or as it stands in the Conmiination Service, ' Cursed be he 
that removeth his neighbour's landmark.' At the Reformation 

Introduction. 2 1 

the whole prooeediiig lo8t much of its ivligious character, and 
though it was some time before the English people quite made 
i^ their minds to accept the unlovely yoke of German Protestant- 
ism, the change came eventually, so that in the 1 7th century the 
processioos which had formerly been universal during the three 
Rogation Days and on Ascension Day, and had always had more 
or less of a religious character, became strictly official, and were 
confined to Thursday only. The old names of the week were 
lost at the same time. Here and there in remote country districts 
old people may be found who speak of the week as * Rogadng 
(rogation) week,' firom the fact of the Rogation Days occurring 
in its course; as < Cross week,' because the cross used to lead 
the processions ; or as ' Grass week,' because when the Rogation 
Days were treated as fasts vegetable food was generally consumed. 
It does not seem, however, that there was anything much more 
terrible in the fastings of this week than in those of Lent as com- 
memorated by Mr. Pepys and, of all people. Sir Thomas More. 
Says the latter — <Some wax drunk m Lent of wygges and 
cracknels,' which is explained as meaning that the ^wygge,' a 
bun of the period, usually served as the * shoeing-hom ' for one 
or two cups of ale. ' Home,' writes Pepys again on April 8, 
1 664, ' to the only Lenten supper I have had of wiggs and ale.' 
The perambulations were naturally provocative of both hunger 
and thirst, and it is not surprising, therefore, to find that such 
wants were supplied by endowments. Some of them are curious 
enough. Thus at Edgcott, in Buckinghamshire, there is an acre 
of land which bears the name of * Gang Monday land ' — the 
name alone shows the extreme antiquity of the endowment — 
which is let for ^3 a year in order to supply the processionists of 
this week with beer and bread. This endowment has, however, 
we believe, been swallowed up for educational purposes. At 
Clifton Reynes, in the same county, the processionists are refreshed 
with ' a small loaf and a piece of cheese and a pint of ale to every 
married man, and half a pint to every unmarried.' At Hurst- 
bourne Crawley, in Bedfordshire, a very small * esute ' — a comer 
of land, that is to say — ^produces jQ^ in seven years, which is 
spent in food and drink for the processionists. A still quainter 

22 In Praise <f Ale. 

custom preraiJs in some of the churches of the City of London — 
unless the Charity Commissioners have seized upon these small 
endowments for educational purposes. In these churches various 
small doles are given, the oddest being that of St Magnus the 
Martyr, where the churchwardens annually present the clergy on 
their return to the vestry from < beating the bounds' with 
* ribbons, cakes, and silk suy-laces.' " 

When first I took my pen in hand thus for to write, I did not 
understand how intimately beer and beer-drinking customs have 
been associated with the inner religious and domestic life of the 
nation from times whereof the memory of man goeth not to 
the contrary. Taking the carols as the first class of the songs, 
or beer ballads, there is a goodly collection ; their annual recur- 
rence and their religious or semi-religious character would naturally 
lead to thnr preservation by the Monkish chroniclers and scribes. 
Of the more jocund or profane class, many of these are and have 
no doubt been as hopelessly lost as is the memory of their authors, 
the minstrels and jongeliers who composed and gave them 
currency ; whilst oUiers, more fortunate, have floated down the 
stream of time on tradition ttntil the art of printing became 
popular, and rescued them from oblivion. And who wrote all 
these chief treasures of a song-loving nation ? No one 
knows, or ever will know ; and their words no one ever will 
forget until there is no more poetry left in men's hearts, no more 
memory left in their minds for great deeds and great words. 
Commencing about the middle of the fifteenth century, we have 
a rich and varied choice of song and ballad. During the Pro- 
tectorate, and especially afterwards at the Restoration, political 
rancour ran high and found expression in popular song. Some 
of the songs at this time were unusually full flavoured ; Cromwell 
had gone down and the king's head had gone up, especially in 
the way of tavern ngns, when loyalty, strong drink, and 
sports were synonomous. The mughouse and political clubs 
perpetuated this 'feeling as did the songs of the Jacolntes and 
Anti-Jacobites. The sentiments that prevailed \m town were 
transmitted to the country by travelling musicians, who were 
newsmen of their respective periods. 

Introduction. 23 

From the early tunes, and, well, almost to the present, the 
political influence of a pot of beer as a political persuader was 
unequalled, except by the opposing power of a rotten egg, which 
has nipped many a brilliant oration in the bud. Of course we 
are much above those pro and con arguments at present, and 
county elections are very diflerent firom what they were in the 

** When the Duke's grandson for the county stood, 
His beef was prime and his October good." 

The irritation which the monetary and fiscal impontions that 
have from time to time been imposed upon the national drink, 
found Tent and a safety-valve in song : — 

^ Let ministers shape the duty on Cape, 

And ordain that port shall be dear ; 
But damn their eyes if ever they tries 

To rob a poor man of his beer. 
For I likes a drop of good beer, I does, 

I be mortally fond of beer, I is. 
Then loudly sing, Live Billy the King 

For bating the tax upon beer." 

The converse of this was found in last year's proposed Budget 
(1885), when a proposal to increase the duty on beer was the 
means of turning out the then Government : — 

** Oh, you ! who failed to understand 
That beer was dear throughout this sea-girt land." 

Again: — 

^ O ! think ye, high rulers, ere time bears away 
The labourer's strength thro' the laws of our day. 
How hard 'tis they toil to replenish your store ; 
O ! tax not the liquor which cheers up the poor." 

The points which I have barely touched upon in this intro- 
ductory chapter will be dealt with more folly in due course ; 
meanwhile, I trust that the reader will be gratefol for the 

24 In Praise cf Ale. 

neoeanrily imperfea collection of occasiooai verse, satires^ 
ejagnunsy humorous oarratiyesy trivial ditties, and ballads which 
fill oar collections with sketches of the time so lively, that we 
should deeply regret to lose, as history, what is rarely of much 
value as song. These, like the fables, represent less the ad- 
vancbg and the moral elements than temporary feelings, or 
bdong to the style which was passing away. They are valuable 
for iUostration of manners and for indications of the progress of 
thought, but except for such purposes, their slumber is little 
likely to be broken. Indeed, the general knowledge that the 
mass exists, and fills long shelves, and so is buried in the vast 
coUectbns of the British Museum and other libraries, has been a 
serious cause of the indifference of the general public to this 
peculiar class of literature, which is doubly valuable inasmuch as 
it holds the mirror up to human nature for many generations 
past. Poets, dramatists, fugitive writers, novelists, and historians 
have all written in praise of ale ; and their works have been im- 
partially mixed in the compilation of the following pages. The 
reader will therefore find no lack of variety of expression or 

I have gathered my material partly 

** From old records 
Of antique proverbs, drawn from Whttsun lords. 
And their authorities at cakes and ales. 
With country precedents, and old wives' tales." 

The theme has been one that has inspired the best writers of 
our language. I am not aware that Still was a worse bishop for 
having written, or rather adapted, his well-known song, ** Jolly 
Good Ale and Old," from an earlier version ; or still more that 
Reginald Heber was less earnest in his life-work because, in his 
eariier days, he wrote two or three of the best Brazenose orations 
in praise of ale. The witty dean who wrote, <<The Night Before 
Larry was Stretched," missed his bishoprick in consequence ; but 
then he did not write upon beer. 

Again, was Archdeacon RoUeston the worse for having written 
one of the most erudite works in the language, showing the great 

Introduction. ^5 

antiquity of barley wine ? I firmly believe that Prince Bismarcky 
beer lover as he ia, can twiat our milk-and-water statesmen round 
his little finger. Pope was not famous for veracity, so we can 
set aside his combined sneer at beer and Welsted 

" FI0W9 Welstedy flow, like thine inspirer, beer, 

Though stale, not ripe ; though thin, yet never clear : 
So sweetly mawkish, and so smoothly dull ; 

Heady, not strong ; and foaming, though not fiiU." 

Sir J(^n Denham's original of the above parody is bx more 
applicable to ale : — 

^ O, could I flow like thee and make thy stream 
My great example, as it is my theme I 
Though deep, yet clear ; though gentle, yet not dull ; 
Strong, without rage, without overflowing full." 

The annexed is anonj^noous ; but the truth of the lines constitute 
their beauty :— - 

** Ale is stout and good, 
Whether in bottle it be or wood : 
'Tls good at morning, 'tis good at night — 
Ye should drink while the liquor's bubbling bright ; 
'TIS good for man, for woman, and child. 
Being neither too strong nor yet too mild." 

As the sentiments I have endeavoured to express have been 
embodied in songs, I cannot do better than bring this chapter to 
a close harmoniously. 

Thb BEER-DamKiNo Buton. 
Song by Mr. Beard in Harlequin Mercury. 

[From the GauUman*t Magazine^ May, 17 57, given with music] 

Ye true, honest Britons, who love your own land, 
Whose sires were so brave, so victorious, and free, 

Who always beat France when they took her in hand, 
Come join, honest Britons, in chorus with me. 

26 In Praise of Ale. 

Join in chorus, join in chorus with roe, 

G)nie join, honest Britons, in chorus with me. 

Let us sing our own treasures, old England's good cheer, 

The profits and pleasures of stout British beer. 

Your wine-dppling, dram-sipping fellows retreat. 

But your beer-drinking Britons can never be beat. 

The French, with their vineyards, are meagre and pale. 
They drink of the squeezings of half-ripen'd fruit ; 

But we, who have hop-grounds to mellow our ale, 
Are rosy and plump and have freedom to boot. 

Let us sing our own treasures, &c. 

Should the French dare invade us, thus arm'd with our poles, 
We'U bang their bare ribs, make their lanthom-jaws ring ; 

For your beef-eating Britons are souls 

Who will shed their last drop for their country and king. 

Let us sing our own treasures, &c. 

Here is another patriotic stave : — 

In Praise of Old English Beer. 
Set by Mr. Leveridge,' 1 734. 

Of good English Beer our songs let's raise. 

We've right by our freebom Charter, 
And follow our brave forefathers' ways. 

Who lived in the time of ELing Arthur. 
Of those gallant days loud Fame hath told. 

Beer gave the stout Britons spirit ; 
In love they spoke truth, and in war they were bold. 

And flourish'd by dint of merit. 

Chorus — ^Then like them crown our Bowls, 
Our plenteous Brown Bowls, 

And take 'em off clever. 
To all English souls. 
To all English souls. 

And Hurrah, Old England for ever. 


Tbe Gloiy Id Lore or war they won, 

By fightJDg, Retreat*, or Saliies, 
Wu from the production of their own 

Good Beer and Rout Beef in their belliea. 
All Foreign attempt* they did diadain. 

So fired with Resolution, 
For Liberty then tbey would bleed eraiy rein, 

To keep thnr old ConttitutioD. 
Cjiorw— Then lilte, &c. 

Like them let ui fill, let ui drink and nng, 

To all who our State are aiding, 
So Conunerce that all our Wealth doe* bring. 

And every Drancb of our Trading, 
By Commerce all Grandeur we mimain. 

That make* ui a powerful nation ; 
Then let lu agree, and with vigour maintain, 

Our Trade aud our Navigation. 

Ciorwj— Then like, &c. 



** 0, ale oB^alaidOf thou Squor of life. 


*^ To the fraise of Gamhrmus^ that old British king, 
Who deviidfor the nation {by the IVelchman^i tale)^ 
Seventeen hundred years before Christ did springs 
The happy invention of a pot of good ale^ 

— Thos. Randall. 

Beforb going further^ it may be as well to take a retrospectiTe 
glance at the early history of ale ; and though Archdeacon Rol- 
leston was not the first writer on the subject by any means, his dis- 
sertation "Concerning the Origin and Antiquity of Barley Wme," 
published in 1750, is the most scholarly and erudite compilation 
on this subject in the English language. He proves conclusively, 
from the writings of the learned of all ages, that ale or barley- wine 
is of far greater antiquity than has generally been supposed* " It is 
very remarkable/' says the Archdeacon, " that of all creatures in 
the universe whose nature and actions we are at all acquainted with, 
man is the only one which is hypochondriacal — that is, which is 
subject to lowness of spirits — and wants, as it were, physic in a 
state of health. There are none of us who can live comfortably 
upon what we call the necessaries of life only, but all stand 
frequently in need of other recruits. Other creatures can labour 
and toil and still continue their cheerfulness without anything but 
what is just necessary to support their beings and keep them alive. 
This is not the case with men : they cannot hold out without 
some spirituous refreshment, some liquor to cheer them, that is 
stronger than simple water. I cannot think that Noah was the 
inventor of wine, but imagine he was taught to make it by the 

History. 29 

antedilunans who were eating and drinking and enjoying them- 
selvet wben the flood came. The same need of refreshment 
which caused the invention of wine in that part of the world 
where man was first placed did very soon after in other countries 
produce other liquors which might have the same effect Men 
located in countries that did not produce the grape, extracted 
liqours from numberless things, and succeeded very well, finding 
there were but few fruits or grains of which they could not make 
something that would cheer the spirits. Pliny reckons up 195 
different kinds of drink which men had invented. St. Jerom 
makes mention of ale, cyder, mead, and palm wine, as strong 
liquors able to make men drunk. Amongst all this variety there 
was none made use of in more countries than what was extracted 
from barley, which Xenophon and Aristotle (as he is quoted by 
Athensras) call bariey wine. This is undoubtedly a liquor of 
very great antiquity, but I cannot think it was invented before 
wine, though an old scholiast upon JEschylus, whose judgment we 
have no great reason to regard, is of a different opinion, and tells 
us that the Egyptians had invented ale before wine was known. 
According to some, ' sabarum,' or ' sabara,' is another name for 
barley wine among the Dalmatians and Parmonians. That the 
people of those countries used to make a strong drink of barley we 
learn finom several authors. The word sabarum is certainly of 
Hebrew origin. 

^The ancient names which we meet with are in the Egyptian. 
Bouzy, then undoubtedly our English word Bowse, or booze, 
which is properly us'd of drinking ale heartily, for we never say 
of a man who is used to drink wine that he is a bowsing fellow. 
The word Bouzy is derived firom Buiirh, the name of a city in 

Ned Ward, in one of his peregrinations, relates, that ** Old 
Pharaoh '' was a recognised name for some specially strong ale 
that he met with. This confirms Rolleston as to the Egyptian 
origin of ale. 

*^The eldest name which we meet with of this liquor is what 
Moses makes use of more than once in the Pentateuch — 
Leviticus x. 9, Numbers vi. 3 — l^b^, Schekar. The Hebrew 

30 In Praise of Ale. 

word may indeed dgoify any other strong liquor as well as beer 
or ale, for it is derived firom ISB^^ inebriarity and implies any kind 
of inebriating liquor whatsoever, as we learn firom St. Jerom. But 
seeing it is mentioned, not only by Moses but the prophets, as a 
liquor distinct from wine, and likewise of the inebriating sort ; 
and as it is most certain that beer or ale was in use among 
the Jews, and that it was common for them to get drunk with 
it, it is very probable that this is the liquor to be understood by 
the word Scbekar. It was m the barley-fields that Boaz first 
met Ruth." 

The learned author is in doubt as to the origin of the word 
Zythos, clearly a Greek word, but he states that the Greeks 
proverbially lived well ; and we must not think it a wonder, when 
they found a new liquor which they greatly liked and approved 
of, and gave it a name which they took for the Liquor of Rfe. 
From which is derived the phrase, ale ab^aHendo. 

Sabarum, or Sahara, is another name for barley wine among 
the Dalmatians and Pannonians. That the people of these 
countries used to make a strong drink of barley, we learn 
from several authors. The word Sabarum is certainly of 
Hebrew extraction; from whence also is derived Sabaziiis, a 
name for Bacchus in some countries, mentioned more than once 
by Aristophanes. 

Though I prefer to look to Ceres as the patroness of barley 
bree, barley- wine, beer, or any other form of our National Drink, 
the name of Bacchus occurs so often in these pages, that a few 
words anent the Drunken God may not be out of place. 

An old proverb describes — 

*^ Gowell-beUyed Bacchus, giant-like, 
Bestryd a strong beere barreL" 

In Bellamy's ^ History of all Religions " we find the following 
parallels drawn between Moses and Bacchus, or rather as to the 
origin of the Greek deity : — ^ It is said in the mythology that 
Bacchus dried up the rivers Orontet and Hydatpes^ by striking them 
with his Thyrsus, and passed over them ; Moses divided the 
Red Sea and the river Jordan with his rod, and passed through 

History. 3 1 

them. That an try stick thrown on the ground by Bacchus crept 
like a dragon : 

** * Strange to relate 1 here ivy first was seen ; 
Along the disufT crept the wond'rous green. 
Then sudden springing vines began to bloom. 
And the soft tendrils curl'd around the loom.' 


Soi by the command of Moses, the rod of Aaron was cast 
down, which became a serpent. That the enemies of Bacchus 
once were aU covered with darkness, while those who were with 
him enjoyed perfect day ; the same is recorded concerning Moses. 
A dog was given to Bacchus as a constant companion ; so Moses 
had his Caleb, which in Hebrew signifies a dog. The ark was 
one of the most sacred symbols given to Moses. All the writers 
I have seen," continues Bellamy, ^ agree in stating the Greeks to 
have had one supreme and eleven subordinate gods. These, in 
after ages, appear to have been worshipped by them. The truth 
is, they were neighbours to the Hebrews, and heard how the 
twelve tribes were^ delivered, and by what mighty power they 
conquered the land of Canaan ; which was, no doubt, the reason 
why they committed it to the pages of their mythology, and 
which, in after ages, were personified, applied to their principal 
leaders, and worshipped. Thus did the history of the twelve 
tribes of the Hebrews lay the foundation of twelve sects among 
the Greeks, each sect having their idol." 

To return to RoUeston and barley-wine. 

^ The next name of this barley liquor is Brutum ; thus it was 
called in particular among the Paronians. We learn from 
Athensnis that this word was to be found in several ancient 
authors. I cannot but think that the word Brutum comes fh)m 
Bfv/, which was thought among the ancient Greeks to be the 
natural cry of children when they wanted drink. We have both 
these words in Aristophanes, and from hence, to be sure, are we 
to derive our English word Brew, and also Beer.** 

Then the author treats of the word Cunm^ but he cannot give 

32 In Praise of Ale. 

the exact origin thereof. It is used by Dioscorides, who has a 
chapter thereon ; and Ulpian raises a curious legal question : If a 
testator bequeaths to anyone all the wine in his cellar, will the 
executor be obliged to give the legatee all the beer and aU which 
shall be found, as it is wine made from bariey ? and the same 
authority decides, that neither ale or beer is bequeathed, neither 
zythiun, curmi, nor cenrisia. As for the derivation oi the word 
Curmi^ I make no doubt but that it comes from the Hebrew 
Fhua^ for it was the wine of the country where there was not 
plenty of grapes. In Spam, we are told by Pliny, this liquor was 
called Celia and Cerku 

Cerevlsid is another word used by the ancients for this barley 
wine. Pliny, if I am not mistaken, is the first who mentions this 
name for it, and he says it was so called in GauL 

From these authorities the author proves that in such countries 
that were not fit for vineprds, there was a pleasant and strong 
liquor made of barley. That this was originally invented to 
supply the place of wine is plain from the nature of the thing, as 
it is likewise attested by several authors of antiquity. Athenaeus 
tells us, from ^ Dio, the Academic,'' that it was invented for the 
benefit of the poor, who were not in circumstances to buy wine. 
But it did not always continue a liquor amongst the poor only, 
for in time, when improvements were made in malting and 
brewing (and no new art is presently brought to perfection), it 
came to be esteemed by the richer sort of people, who could have 
afibrded to drink a dearer liquor, and persons of best fashion and 
taste drank it, and that sometimes to excess. That this was the 
case amongst the Jews is, I think, clear from several passages in 
the Old Testament : — ^ Do not drink wine nor strong drinks when 
ye go into the tabernacle'' — Levit, x. 8. 

For this excellent liquor, then, the world is indebted to an old 
Egyptian king (for there was a time when kings studied arts and 
sciences, and were very useful to the nations they governed by 
consulting the good of their people). His name was Osiris, who 
was, after his death, for the great good he had done his country, 
and mankind in general, worshipped as a god. The learned 
author assigns the time at which this benefactor ruled and fiour- 

History. 33 

Uied to be a little after that of Mizraim ; and, having proved 
coQchitively enough that the ancients made an excellent liquor of 
barley, he winds up sensibly with the following remark : — ^ If, in 
treating upon so many useful particulars, I have been too tedious, 
I have only to ask pardon, and to promise that I will never give 
myself any further trouble about ale or heer^ unless for my own 

Dean Swift was in thorough accord with Archdeacon Rolles- 
ton when he wrote : — ^ There is no nation yet known in either 
hemisphere where the people of all conditions are more in want 
of some cordial to keep up their spirits than m this of ours.'* 
Bishop Earle, again, showed true and generous appreciation of the 
wants of the poorer classes, in writing : — ** A tavern is the busy 
man's recreation, the idle man's business, the melancholy man's 
sanctuary, the stranger's welcome, the inns-of-courts man's enter- 
tainment, the scholar's kindness, and the citizen's courtesy." 

Dr. James Mackenzie wrote his history of health in 1 758, and 
confinns Rolleston as to the antiquity of beer, in the order of 
diet which was observed from the creation to the time of Moses : 
fruit, seeds, herbs, bread, milk, fish, flesh, wine, and ale, 

Mr, James Samuelson, in his " History of Drink," inclines to 
the belief that the Chinese were not only acquainted with and 
practised the art of fermentation, but also of distillation, and 
quotes from the Sbe^King^ or book of Chinese poetry, written 
about 1 1 1 6 B.C., and the Sboo-King^ or prose history of the 
period. In the latter we learn that ** strong drink is intended to 
be used in offering sacrifices and entertaining guests: such employ- 
ment of it is what Heaven has prescribed." The poetical history 
contains numerous allusions to the drinking habits of the then 

** See the mighty cups of horn 
Round their ranks in order borne 1 
Full of spirits soft and good. 
It excites no conduct rude ; 
Surely blessings haste to greet 
Lord of virtues so complete." 

34 J^ Praise of Ale. 

Mr. Samuekon fortifies his belief in the Chinese knowledge of 
distillation from the same work : — 

** Pve strained and made my spirits clear. 
The fatted lamb I've killed, 
With friends whom my own somame bear, 
My haU I've largely filled." 

This shows that hospitality was an ancient virtue; though, if 
the host's patronymic happened to be Smith, Brown, or Jones, 
or the Chinese equivalent for those tribes, his resources would be 
heavily taxed. 

Two lines fifom Pope's version of the «* Iliad " seem to bear 
somewhat on the question of malt beverage, and are peculiar : — 

** For this my spouse of great Aetion's line 
So oft has steep'd the strength'ning grain in wine." 

Of modem writers, Lord Neaves is one of the most graceful, 
versatile, and scholarly ; and by the kind permission oi Messrs* 
W. Blackwood 5c Sons, I am enabled to enliven this historic 
chapter with an apposite poem : — 

Old Noah's Invention. 

We read that old Noah, soon after the flood, 
Found out a new liquor to quicken the blood : 
Of water grown tired in his long navigation. 
He hit on the process of vinification. 
It doesn't appear that he took out a patent. 
But the wondrous discovery wasn't long latent ; 
For Noah, though such might not be his intention. 
Got drunk on this very stupendous invention. 

And ever smce then, we have evidence ample. 
Mankind has been following Noah's example : 
Sometimes they get drunk, and sometimes they do not ; 
But the business of drinking is seldom forgot. 

History. 35 

They drink when they're merry, they drink when they're sad ; 
They drink whensoefer good drink's to be had. 
What marriage or christening would meet with attention 
If yon didn't still practise this wondrous invention ? 

The Wine-Cop may Poetry claim as a daughter, 

Though a poet or two have been drinkers of water : 

Good wine to the wise is a swift-wmgU steed, 

Whik abstainers in general come little speed. 

Would Homer or Horace have written a line 

Without plenty of Greek and Falemian wine \ 

What were North without Ambrose ? or who would e'er mention 

A Socratic repast without Noah's uvention ? 

Old Plato, the prince of political sages. 
For the uses of drinkmg his credit engages : 
When pleasure invites, if you'd learn self-denial, 
A convivial meeting will serve as a trial. 
Should you wish to find out if a man's a good fellow, 
His virtues and faults will appear when he's mellow : 
To whatever good gifts he may e'er make pretennon, 
The truth you can test by old Noah's invention. 

Some folks would persuade us from drink to abstain. 

For they trace every crime to that terrible bane ; 

But if drinking's a sin, yet I cannot help thinking 

Mankind have had sins independent of drinkmg. 

The Antediluvians were free from that curse. 

But their lives were no better — in £ict, they were worse; 

And at least you can't prove any moral declension 

Since the date when old Noah made known his mvention. 

Then wisely partake of the generous juice. 
But don't forfeit the boon by excess or abuse; 
At your board let the muses and graces be found. 
And the light-hearted virtues still hover around. 

c 2 

36 In Praise of Ale. 

And let this, I beseech you, be one of your nil< 
Never show any folly in presence of fools; 
For the wise man alone has a due comprehension, 
And can make a right use — of old Noah*s invention. 

Apropos of the above song and other writings I have 
collected tog^er, the following firom the pen of Dean Ramsay 
deserves to be printed in letters of gold : ** No one, I think, need 
be ashamed of his endeavours to cheer the darker hours of his 
fellow-traveller's steps through life, or to beguile the hearts of 
the weary and the heavy-laden, if only for a time, into cheerful and 
amusing trains of thought." 

Mr. Samnelson's views are confirmed by Morewood m his 
** Essays on the Inventions and Customs of the Ancients,** in 
which is sheivn that the Chinese came to love ale not wisely, but 
too well: — «* Under the government of the Emperor 21u or 
Ta^yUf before Christ 2207, the making of ale, or wine, from 
rice, was invented by an ingenious agriculturist named /-/jr^, and 
that, as the use of this liquor was likely to be attended with evil 
consequences, the emperor expressly forbid the manufacture or 
drinking of it under the severest penalties. He even renounced 
it himself, and dismissed his cupbearer, lest, as he said, the 
princes, his successors, might suffer their hearts to be effeminated 
with so delicious a beverage. This, however, had not the desired 
effect, for having once tasted it, the people could never afterwards 
entirely abstain from the bewitching draught. It was, even at a 
very early period, carried to such excess and consumed in such 
abundance, that the Emperor KyOf the Nero of China, in 1836 
before Christ, ordered 3000 of his subjects to jump mto a 
larg^ lake which he had prepared and filled with it ; while 
Cbiu'vangf in 1120, thought it prudent to assemble the 
princes to suppress its manu&cture, as the source of infinite mis- 
fortune in his dombions. The cultivation of the vine has been 
known and practised in China from the most remote period. 
Indeed, all the songs which remain of the early dynasties down 
to that of Han, which commenced 206 years before the 
Christian era, confirm this opinion. Might not,'* continues 

History. 37 

Morewood, ^ this I-tye be one of the immediate descendants of 
Noah ? Dr. Hales, m his Analysis of Chronology, is of opinion 
that it was the family of Shem that peopled China ; but the 
writers of the Uni?enal History think that Noah himself, being 
discontented with the party that had been formed to build the 
tower of Babel, separated firom the main body, and, with some 
followers, travelling eastwards, at last entered China, and laid the 
foundation of that vast empire. 

** Some think, that by the invention Pliny mentions, * that water 
was made to intoxicate,' is meant distillation. It would certainly 
i^pear to be something very different from the ordinary mode of 
obtaining liquors by fermentation ; but as this cannot be done with 
propriety, it means nothing more than the intoxicating power or 
strength acquired by water in the fermenting process of the grain. 
* Hen mira vitiorum solertia ! inventum est quemadmodum aqua 
inebriaret' — 'Oh, wondrous craft of the vices ! by some mode 
or other it was discovered that water also might be made to 
inebriate.'-^Pliny, b. xiv., s. 29. 

** Mr* Murphy, in one of his notes on Tacitus, understood Pliny 
as if he ^ke of distillation in the above passage. * Pliny, the 
elder/ says he, 'observes that the Egyptians had their intoxi- 
cating liquors distilled from grain, which their country produced 

in great abundance.' — ^ De Morib., German,' vol. iv., p. 268. 
• • • . • • 

** Poncet tells us, that in many parts of Ethiopia there are 
excellent grapes, but that no wine is manufactured ; mead is the 
chief drink. In the making of this, several ingredients are em- 
ployed ; the barley which forms the basis of it is malted to a 
certain degree, and then dried, as we do coffee, and pounded fine ; 
while an indigenous root called taddo is bruised and mixed with 
the bariey. These are put with water into a well-varnished 
vessel, and mixed with a fourth part of honey ; and to ten pounds 
ol this water are put two ounces of barley, and two ounces of 
taddo. The whole is blended together, and left in a warm place 
to ferment; it is stirred occasionally, and in three or four days it 
becomes excellent mead, pure and clear,- of the colour of Spanish 
white wine. (Lockman's 'Travels of the Jesuits.') It is 

38 In Praise of Ale. 

•aid to be a delightfbl bererage, and of great strength. In 
Abytnnia, brandy, not inferior to that of France, is distilled 
from it. According to Bruce, their beer is of an inferior 
description, drawn from teff, a grain common in Abyssinia ; or 
from barley. One or other of these grains being ground, is first 
baked into cakes, and then broken into small particles in a large 
well-covered jar, which is set by the fire, and stirred frequently, 
for several days. After being allowed to settle for three or four 
days more, it acquires a sourish taste, and what the Abyssinians 
call Bouza. (Bruce's ^Travels to Discover the Source of the 
Nile,' vol vi*, p. 94.) Of this, as well as of the mead already 
mentioned, they drink largely when they visit one another ; and, 
if Lobo is to be credited, there cannot be a greater offence against 
good manners than to let the guests go away sober. The liquor 
on such occasions is always presented by a servant, who drinks 
first himself, and then gives the cup to the company, in order, 
and agreeably to their rank or station. 

<*The inebriating drinks used by the other rude tribes of the 
African contment, whether Mahometan or pagan, are so much 
alike, that to describe them all would be tedious, and, were it 
possible, useless ; a few of the nx>st interesting may suffice* 

** The beverages of the Negroes are, according to Park, beer 
and mead ; the latter we find to be a species of drink very common 
in Africa, owing to the great abundance of honey, while the 
former is made wherever any fiuinaceous grain is cultivated. 
(< Park's Travels,* p. 284., Lond. Edit 1807). When Dalzel 
was at the coast of Dahomy, he observed a species of liquor 
called Pitto, manufactured by the ladies of the palace, of an 
agreeable flavour and heady quality. It was prepared firom grain 
regularly fermented, and very much resembled the liquor drawn 
firom the date-tree by the people of Fezzan. From the latter a 
revenue of some consequence arose, which, Ben Ali says, his 
Fezzanic majesty has collected by a tax on the trees, and not on 
the quantity produced. 

^ The practice of drinking buza, or bouza, prevails to a con- 
siderable extent in Sudan, or Dar Fur. The Sultan Abdel- 
rahman, a rigid Mahometan, published an ordinance m 1795, 

History. 39 

prohibiting the oae of it altogether under pain of death. Eren 
the onfortttoale women who made it had their heads shaved, and 
were exposed to erery possible degradation^ but as the habit of 
using it was of older standing than the profession of Islamism, 
companies are yet known to sit from sun-rise to sun-set, drinldng 
and conversing till a single man will sometimes carry off with 
him two gallons of this liquor. (^ Brown's Travels,' 410*, p. 222, 
24S9 333*} The bouza having a diuretic and diaphoretic 
tendency, precludes the danger usually attendant on such 

^ The leaves and flowers of milfoil or yarrow, inebriate, and are 
used by the Dalecarlians to render their beer mtoxicating. 
Clary and saffifon have the same effect. The last exhilarates the 
spirits to such a degree, that when taken in large doses, it 
occasions immoderate mirth and laughter. Darnel, or lolium 
ttmulentum, which is vulgarly known under the name of sturdy^ 
when malted with barley, a process which the seeds of it often 
undergo, causes the ale brewed from it to be speedily intoxicating. 
It produces the same effect when mixed with bread and eaten 
hot Many stories are told of its effects, some of which are 
sufficiently amusbg, but not exactly suited to this essay. Among 
these inebriantt the inspissated milky juice of the common garden 
lettuce is considered as powerful in its operation as opium it- 

To come nearer home, beer was the national drink in England 
and Scotland as early and, doubtless, prior to the time of Ethelred. 
An early Scotch historian who flourished long before the art of 
distillation was introduced into that country, wrote : ^The 
Caledonians seem to have delighted greatly in strong exhilarating 
liquors, called in the poetical language of the Bards, ^the spirit of 
the shell,' because they drank it out of sheUs." Ossian has sung 
the praises of strong ale m still stronger language, probably under 
the mspiration of the beverage itself: — 

** Nqw on the side of Mora the heroes gather to the feast, 
A thousand oaks are burning to the wind — 
The strength of the shell goes round 
And the souls of the warriors brighten with joy." 

40 In Praise of Ale. 

The tone of the foregoing is certainly elevated ; but as the beau 
ideal of heavenly enjoyment among our Danish ancestors was the 
drinking of fermented liquors out of the skulls of enemies slain in 
battle, we must allow them a little extra indulgence. In the 
course of a long ^ spread " or feast of the period, they would 
refer to their individual powers over and over again — 

^Thrice they routed all their foes, 
And thrice they slew their slain." 

It must have given rise to a little uneasiness on the part of 
visitors, to think that his neighbours were speculating on the 
capacity of his skull as a beer-drinking vessel ; and questions as 
to the rights of proprietorship of the said brain-pan occasionally 
marred the harmony and good fellowship of the feast. 

That their faith is not dead, is diown by the following 
newspaper extract which I recently read, though I cannot state 
my authority more exactly. It shows, however, how history 
repeats itself, since the happy hunting-grounds of the good 
Hanaques is more luxurious even than the Valhalla of Odin. 
The extract shows the survival of old faiths : — 

^ The paradise of gluttons is a heaven believed in by a Sclavonic 
tribe o( Moravia, the Hanaques. In the regions of future bliss 
they picture an inunense mountain of crumbled gingerbread, 
surrounded at the base by a river of melted lard. The happy 
Hanaques will recline full length on the shore, lying on their 
faces, with the chin supported on their hands, and into their 
wide-open mouths will fall balls of flour, which have been cooked 
by angels in the crater of the mountain. Meanwhile angels will 
chant the national airs, and there will be a perpetual downpour of 
beer and brandy, which will not wet the Hanaques, but will only 
&11 into their mouths when they are thirsty." 

It requires one to believe hard in order to picture an angel 
pouring beer dovm a drunkard's throat, however. 

Beer, says Chambers, is a popular drink prepared from malt 
and hops ; the word is Saxon, formed from the German bier^ of 
the Latin hibere, 

Nathrolus takes the zythum and curmi of the ancients to be 

History, 4 ' 

the fame with the beer and ale of our days ; and thinks the only 
difierence between zythum and curmi to have consisted in some 
circumstances of the preparation, which rendered the one stronger 
than the other. 

Brewers were operators who professed the art of bnewbg. 
Brewers were variously called in the middle ages by writers — 
brasiatoret, bradatom, braxionarii, brasiatrices, braxatrices, and 
cambarii. — Dveang^i Glossaries. Bailey derives the word from 
the Dutch word brmnven. 

The drinking customs of our Gaelic ancestors are thus described 
by Diodorus Siculus, and quoted by Dr. Henry in his *^ History 
of England" Henry adds that the love of drink was introduced 
by the Scotch into England. ««The excessive coldness and 
badness of the dimate is the reason that Gaul produceth neither 
ffvgm nor olives. The Gauls, being destitute of these fruits, make 
a strong liquor of barley, which they call zithus. They also 
make a kind of drink of honey, diluted with water of wine, which 
is inqxNted to them by merchants ; they are fond of it to distraction, 
and drink it to excess, until they are either overpowered with 
sleep, OT inflamed with a kind of madness. Quarrels often arise 
amongst them when they are over their cups, and they start 
op and fight m the most furious manner, without the least regard 
to safety or even life." A somewhat later writer gives the 
following account of the drinking customs in the Western High- 
lands of Scotland : — " The manner of drinking used by the 
chief men of the Isles is called, in their language, streak, f.^., a 
round, for the company sat in a circle, the cup-bearer filled the 
drink round to them, and all was drank out, whatever the liquor 
was, whether strong or weak. (No heeltaps, gentlemen.) They 
continued drinking, sometimes twenty-four, sometimes forty-eight 
hours. It was reckoned a piece of manhood to drink until they 
became drunk; and there were two men with a barrow attending 
punctually on such occasions. They stood at the door until some 
became drunk, and they carried them upon the barrow to bed, 
and returned again to their post as long as any continued fresh, 
and so carried off the whole company, one by one, as they became 
incqMible. The truth is, continues Henry, that mankind, in all 

42 In Praise of Ale, 

ages, especially in cold climates, have been at great pains to 
secure for themselves exhilarating and intoxicating liquors, which 
cheered their spirits, warmed their hearts, and filled their minds 
with joy." 

Sobriety was a virtue among the Normans, but at the time of 
William of Malmesbury they had accustomed themselves to the 
manners of the country, in which a day and night were spent in 
feasting without intermission. The custom of drinking to pegs, 
which had been introduced by a law of Edgar, the peaceable, 
still continued at this period, for, by a canon of the Council of 
Westminster, a.ix iioi, the clergy were prohibited to frequent 
ale-houses, or to drink to pegs. 

Originally the Welsh and Scots had two kinds of ale, called 
cofmmm ale and ificed ale ; and their value was thus determined : 
— ** If a farmer hath no mead, he shall pay two casks of spiced 
ale, or four casks of common ale, for one cask of mead." By 
this law, a cask of spiced ale, nine palms in height, and eighteen 
in diameter, was valued at a sum of money equal in efficacy to 
^7, I OS. of our present money ; and a cask of common ale of the 
same dimensions, at a sum equal to ^^3, 1 5s. This is a sufficient 
proof that even common ale m this period was an article of 
luxury among the Welsh, which could only have been obtamed 
by the great and opulent. 

Mr. W. Sandys, in his collection of festive songs, says : — 
** The prmcipal liquors in use amongst the early inhabitants of our 
country were ale, beer, and mead. In some of the earliest Welsh 
laws, we find the steward of the king's household had as much of 
every cask of plain ale as he could reach with his middle finger 
dipped into it ; and as much of every cask of ale with spiceries as 
he could reach with the second joint of his little finger. The 
Welsh, as at present, were famed for their ale; the Anglo- 
Saxons dividing the classes of that liquor into mild ale, clear ale, 
and Welsh ale. Ale, indeed, may be considered a national drink, 
and has preserved its reputation to the present time, although not 
so aristocratic as formerly. Several places in the kingdom have, 
for a long series of years, preserved the reputation of peculiar 
skill in making this liquor. In ancient times it stood forward 

History. 43 

boldly at the royal tables, but now modestly retires to the side- 
board; often has it been the subject of parliamentary attention and 
interference; and the ale-brewer in the 1 5th century could not 
sell his ale^ without the fear of the ' cukkyng stole ' and pillory, 
until the ale-taster had pronounced it good, and ' abill for mannys 
body/ *' 

This liquor is of such antiquity in England, that we find 
mention of it in the laws of Ina, King of Wessex. But the first 
aasize o£ ok was fixed by the famous statute ji Henry III* 

Chaucer constantly alludes to the draught of London ale, and 
the nappy ale of Southwerke ; and Milton follows in the footsteps 
of the ^ther of English poetry, in praisbg the spicy nut-brovm ale. 
Mr. Austin Dobson, in his charming collection of verses, yclept 
''The Sign of the Lyre," hits oflP the manner of the London 
Makworm, and has caught the true spirit of the earlier 
smgers :— 

The Maltworm's Madrigal * 

I drink of the ale of Southwark, I drink of the ale of Chepe : 
At noon I dream on the settle ; at night I cannot sleep; 
For my love, my loye, it groweth ; I waste me all the day ; 
And when I see my Alison, I know not what to say. 

« « « «> « 

The ^Murrow, when he spieth his dear upon the tree. 
He beateth to his little wing, he chirpeth lustily ; 
But when I see sweet Alison, the words begin to fail; 
I wot that I shall die of love — ere I die not of ale. 

So I drink of the ale of Southwark, I drink of the ale of Chepe; 
All day I dream in the sunlight ; I dream and eke I weep, 
But little lore of loving can any flagon teach ; 
For when my tongue is loos^ most, then most I lose my speech. 

Ale Cerevuia is also a denomination given to divers medicated 
liquors or diet drinks, whereof ale is the basis or vehicle. The 

* Reprinted from ** The Sign of the Lyre,** by penniMion of Mentn. 
Kcgin Piiii & Co., Paternoster Square, £.C. 

44 In Praise of Ale. 

medicated ales make a ki^ article in our old dispensadona. Such 
are the cerevuia oxydorica^ for the eyes ; cerevhia anti-ariirUicaf 
against the gout ; cereviita cephaBca for the head ; cerewia epi" 
ItptipHf &C, 6cc. We meet in some dispensations with syrup of 
ale made by boiling tliat liquor to a consistence; this is used 
against obstricdon in the kidneys, 5cc. &c. Ale berry is ale boiled 
with bread and mace ; sweetened, strained, and drunk hot. 

^ In modem usage, the distinction between ale and iter/* says a 
well-informed writer in Notes and Queries^ ''is different in 
different parts of the country. But I apprehend that, originally, 
the distinction was very clearly marked : — 

** Ale being a liquor brewed from malt^ to be drunk firesh. 

'' Beer^ a liquor brewed from malt and bopt^ intended to keep. 

** And hence it is, that, even at the present day, when malt 
liquor gets stale, it is said, in popular language, to be beery. 

" The distinction that I have pointed out is clearly observed in 
Johnson's Dictionary, where ok is defined : * A liquor made by 
infusing mali in hot water, and then formenting the liquor.' 
Beer: 'Liquor made from mah and ^<^ ;' distinguished from 
ale, either by being older or smaller.'' 

Reverting again to Samuel Morewood's exhaustive work, we 
find that " water-mills were introduced into the country about the 
year 500, by which the inhabitants were enabled to grind their 
grain, and to render it more easily subservient to domestic pur- 
poses. Ale at that time was in conmion use and home-made. 
IVme was used on some occasions, but that was imported ; and 
ornaments of gold, made from the ore found in the mountains, 
were by no means unconunon ; in the manufacture of them the 
artists displayed no inconsiderable share of skill and taste. 

" The ancient inhabitants, at their ordinary entertainments, sat 
down in a ring on rushes, or beds of grass, instead of benches or 
couches. Three-legged wooden tables were set before them, after 
the manner of the ancient Gauls, covered with victuals, such as 
bread baked on a gridiron, or under the ashes, milk-meats, flesh 
and fish both broiled and boiled. The waiters, in the meantime, 
handed about the drink, in cups made of wood or horn, and 
sometimes of brass. When festivities were held at night, ' the 

History. 45 

lights were made of the pith of rushes, twisted together with a 
small part of the skin to preserve cohesion. This substance was 
saturated with unctuous matter, and formed into a taper about the 
■ze of a man's waist, from which issued a splendid flame, visible 
at an immense distance.' Ware relates, that * the ancient and 
peculiar drink of the Irish, as also the Britons, was ale. 
Dioicorides takes notice of this drink in a passage, where he says 
that the Britons and Irish (whom he calls Hiberi) instead of wine 
use a liquor called cwrm^ made of barley. But Camden observes, 
that oinii^ in that place, is corruptly written for the old British 
word, rcpTW, which signifies ale^ which last name it took from the 
Dane^ who called it oel : this is the liquor which Julian, the 
apostate, m an epigram, calls. The ffftpr'mg of com^ and ^ine 
wkttmi wme. The Irish have no name for this drink, that I 
know of, but /nmn, which signifies liqu6r in general, but they 
ondentand by it, ok. Beer, or ale, brewed with hops to preserve 
it long, is a liquor of no great antiquity. The Irish had also in 
ancient times another beverage, or mixture of water and honey, 
now called meaJ^ but by them mlodb^ and mU-Jum^ that is honey- 
mnef as appears in the life of St. Berach, who flourished in 
the seventh century, and in the annals of Ulster, under the 
year 1107.' " 

A writer in the Antiquartan and Bibliographer^ gives a some- 
what different rendering of the word ale, to that which we have 
transcribed: — 

** The word ale is peculiar to the English language, and has 
long been erroneously supposed to have originated in the Saxon 
a km^ to kindle, to inflame, because of the intoxicating qualities of 
the liquor so called. But ale has not that quality, in excess of 
other liquors, and in its origin simply meant drink, from the 
Celtic 0^ drink, or to drink, and olmdh^ the act of drinking ; olar^ 
dnmken, addicted to drink ; and olarachd^ habitual drunkenness. 
Draper, as used in the passage in 'Kind Hart's Dream,' is 
the Celtic druapcir^ one who pours out, or retails liquor in 
snull quantities; also a tippler; whence ale-draper would 
signify one who retailed drink, whether wine, beer, ale, or 
^rits. Nares, ignorant of this derivation, cites Jile^ the name 

46 In Praise of Ale, 

of a rural festiva], and adda, * where, of coutk, nmch ale was 

** In the fifteenth chapter of Jonas's * Life of St. Colombanus ' 
(who flourished in the sixth and seventh centuries, between 589 
and 610} there \b the following curious passage, illustrative of 
this subject : — * When the hour of refreshment approached, the 
minister pf the refectory endeavoured to serve about the aU 
(cenresiam), which is bruised from the juice of wheat and barley, 
and which, above all, the nations of the earth, except the Scordiscac 
and Dardans, who inhabit the borders of the ocean, those of 
Gaul, Britain, Ireland, and Germany, and others, who are not 
unlike them in manners, use ; he carried to the cellar a vessel 
which they called typnu^ and placed it before the vessel in which 
the ale was deposited, when, having touched the t^gpt^ he suffered 
it to run into the iypnuJ 

^ It IS a tradition prevalent in the north of Ireland, that the 
Danes, when in possession of the country in the ninth century, 
brewed beer from heath, but it is certain that this shrub would 
yield a very unpalatable drink without the addition of some 
saccharine matter. This may have been ejected by the applica- 
tion of honey, the flower of the heath being used as a substitute 
for hops, sbce it is well known that, before the mtroduction of 
the latter plant, broom tops, wormwood, and other bitter herbs 
have been so employed. 

^ According to usual practice, in ancient times, of fermenting 
worts for the purpose of making beer, the yeast was preserved by 
means of a furze, or whin-bush, kept over in the chimney until 
the next brewing. This, when dipped in the wort, catted the 
liquor to ferment. Beer, formerly, according to a manuscript 
dotted 1 498,^ here,' differed from ale in being ^hopped.' 

^ Wormus speaks of the drinking of heather-beer, as one of the 
pleasures which the souls of departed heroes enjoyed in the society 
of the gods. A gentleman, some years since, tried the manufiicture 
of heather-beer in the county of Donegal, but he did not find it 
to answer to the palates of his northern friends, who had long 
been accustomed to good Ennishowen ; broom, bay-berries, and 
ivy-berries — sorry enough substitutes! Ale was almost certain 

History. 47 

to get 'eager' before it was ripe. Nor was this all: in the 
miniite and specific directions for brewing, which are to be found 
in Hoilinshedy it may be seen that it was the custom to eke out 
the malt with a liberal admixture of unmalted oats. From the 
trial of Beau Fielding, it would appear that an inferior sort of 
liqncM', called oat-ale, was in use in &milies." 

The art and mystery of brewing is doubtless of very remote 
origin, though the time of its introduction into the country is 
unknown. Malt liquor is said to have been used w Britain as 
eariy as the fifth century ; and it is pretty certain that considerable 
breweries were in operation in London before the Norman 

The ale of Southwark was famous m Chaucer's time : — 

^ The nappy goode ale of Southe werke 
Keeps many a gossip from the kirk." 

The biewers of ** Chepe " were also famous in their day, as 
we find m the City Archives, 19 Edward III. 

These, however, appear to have been confined to the pro- 
duction of ales of different qualities and strength, the prices of 
which were regulated by the magistracy at least as early as 
the year 1256. In the 31st of Henry III., it was 
determined by authority that when a quarter of barley was sold 
at 2s., then ale might be afforded 4 quarts for id. ; and when 
barley was at 2s. 6d. per quarter, then ale was to be 7 quarts for 
2d., — and so to increase and decrease at the rate of 6d. the 
quarter. — Fleetwood** Chromcle, 

In 1302, ground malt was sold as low as 3s. 4d. the 
quarter; yet, within thirteen or fourteen years after, it rose to 
13s. 4d. and upwards, owing to the great dearth which then 
prevailed. The price of ale partook of the general deamess, and 
the best sort rose to 3d. and 4d. a iagend (flagon or gallon). 
A proclamation was issued restraining the price to one penny ^ and 
conunanding also that no wheat should be malted. In Arnold* s 
Chromicle, 1521, the following receipt for making beer occurs: — 
^ X quarters of malte, ii quarters wheete, ii quarters ootes, xi 
pounds weight hoppys, to make xi barrels of sengyll beere." 

48 In Praise of AU. 

It seems probably, says Bragley, that the use of beer was not 
geneially introduced till about the reign of Henry VII., in whose 
time the breweries which then stood on the banks of Thames, 
at St Catherine's, Wapping, and are distinguished by the name of 
Beer^Hoiue on the map given in the Civitatis Orbis, were twice 
spoiled by the king's officers, either for sending too much abroad 
u nli c en s e d, or for brewing it too weak for home consumption. 
In Rymer's Foedera, under the date 1 492, is a license granted 
to John le Merchant, a Fleming, to export fifty tons or butts of 
beer (quinquagmta dolta senritar here) ; and we find that one of 
the king's attendants in France in that year was Petrus Vanek, a 
beer-brewer of Greenwich, in Kent In 1504, the ale of 
London was sold at jQi los. per dolium, and the beer at 
£ 1 3s. 4d. ^ Dolium," says Fleetwood, *< does here, I believe, 
signify a pipe or butt, which contains 1 26 gallons ; so that the 
ale oomes to near 3d per gallon, and the beer to rather more 
than 2^ for the same quantity .'^ In the twenty-third year of 
Henry VIII., the brewers were restrained by sututc fh>m making 
any more sorts or kinds of beer than two, the strong and the 
double ; and it was ordered that the same should be sold after the 
rate of and price of 6s. 8d. the barrel of the best, and 36. 4d. the 
barrel of double beer or ale, and not above. 

Beer, though now popular abroad, was not alwa3rs so, but 
amongst the Normans it was difterent, as is shewn by the copy of 
a song of the thirteenth century, under the name of Letabundus, 
in which this stanza occurs : — 

" Or hi parra 
La corveyse vos chanteres : 

Qui que aukes en beyt. 
Si tel seyt comme estre doit : 

Ros Miranda." 

At the assessment of the prices to be paid for the ale and beer 
supplied to the English army besieging Rouen (6 Henry V., 
1 41 8), ^ It was ordered that the brewers of ale that was presented 
to our Lord the King, at the siege of the city of Roan, should 

History. 49 

hxft far cye iy tun of 200 tuna of ale 30 shillings ; and that the 
same brewers should pay for the vessels holding such ale, and for 
the hooping of such vessels — making in all ^300. And that the 
biewers of here should have 13s. 4d. for every tun of 3cx> 
tmM» making ;^200." By the 13th Edward 11., 1320, &ve 
** regretors " (retailers) were forbidden by the mayor and aldermen 
to sell ale upon London Bridge on the perils which pertain 

In the churchwarden's accounts of Allhallows Staining, in 
which paridi the Ironmongers' Hall stands, the following entry 
occurs for the year 1 494 : — ** Payd for a kylcherkp of good ale 
wech was drunkp in the Irynmongers' Hall, all charges borne, 
1 2a. id." These prices seem to be low enough, but the relative 
value of money must be taken into consideration. 

In 1606 the brewers were ordered ^ not to brewe any beere 
but good beere, and wholesome for num's bodie," and to sell their 
"doble beere" at 3s. 4d. the barrel, and their ''ordinarie beere" 
at 2S. per barrel. They were also forbidden to carry their 
^ beere " in '' iron-bound carts," because *< it tendeth to make it 
worke up in such a sorte that though the barrells seem to be fidl 
when they are brought, yet when they are settled, they lack some 
a gallon of beere, to the enriching of the brewer, and the great 
defeat and hindrance of the town." 

Mr. Henry W. Taylor, writbg in Notes and Queries^ says : — 
** The question of the relative value of ale and beer in the present 
day receives some illustration from a comparison of the terms in 
use for the same article by our forefathers, as shown m our 
municipal records four hundred years since; for in the corporation 
accounts for this town, temf. Hen. VI. & VII«, occur the follow- 
ing entries: — 


* 1 432. liem^ payd to Davy, here brewere, 
for a pyp of here that was droncke 
at the Barryeate when the flurst 
affray was of the ffrensheroen, . vj^ viij<l*' 

** Among the expenses of the 'law day ' feast at < Cutthome 


50 In Praise of Ale. 

CroMe,' on the official perambulation of the boundaries, will be 
found : — 

M < 

1497. Half a barrell of doble here, . xx<L 

Half a barrellj3^ii^ dobyl beere, . xij<l. 

Ten galons peny ale, ... x<l* 

Ale and Bere, .... ij«. viijd.* " 

The similarity of these distinctions to those in use in our own 
day (double and tieble X) is somewhat remarkable. Among 
the Eglinton papers, published by the Historical Manuscripts 
Commission, are many which bear on social life and manners. In 
illustration of the drinking habits of the seventeenth century. Dr. 
Eraser quotes fix>m the household account of the sixth Earl of 
Eglinton an entry of the consumption of ale on Thursday, 
November 26th, 1646: — ^^To your Lordship's morning drink, 
a pynt ; for my Ladie's morning drink, i pynt ; to your Lord- 
ship's denner, 2 pynts; mair, 3 pynts; to the letter meal, 2 
pyntis ; efter denner, 1 ppt ; at four houres, i pjrnt ; ane other 
pynt ; to your Lordship's supper, 3 pptis," frc. 

A.D. 1345, the following ordinance that brewers shall not 
waste the water of the conduit in Chepe, appears : — ** At a hustings 
of Pleas of Land, holden on the Monday next before the feast 
of St. Margaret the Virgm (20th July), in the 19th year of the 
reign of King Edward the Third, &c., it was shown by William 
de Iford, the common sergeant, on behalf of the commonalty, 
that whereas of old a certain conduit was built in the midst of the 
City of London, so that the rich and middling persons therein 
might there have water for preparing their food, and the poor for 
their drink ; the water aforesaid was now so wasted by brewers 
and persons keeping brew-houses, and making malt, that in these 
modem times, it will no longer suffice for the rich and middling, 
or for the poor, to the common loss of the whole community. 
And, for avoiding such common loss, it was by the mayor and 
aldermen agreed, with the assent of the commonalty thereto, that 
such brewers, or persons keeping brew-houses, or making malt, 
shall m future no longer presume to brew or make malt with the 
water of the conduit. And if anyone shall hereafter presume to 

History. 51 

make ak with the water of the conduit, or to make malt with the 
nme^ he is to loae the tankard or tpe with which he shall have 
carried the water fiom the conduit, and 4CXL the fint time, to 
the oae of the conamonalty ; the tankard or tyne and half a mark, 
the aecood time, and tos., and further, he is to be committed to 
pnsoo, at the discretion of the mayor and aldermen, there to 


It is mteresting to note the alteration of meaning which the 
word tankard has undergone since the foregoing order was pro- 
mulgated; in those days the tankard was a lai^e pail or tub, 
containing about three gallons, like the frustum of a cone, 
and hooped around. It had a small iron handle at the upper 
end, and being fitted with a bung, or stopple, was easily carried 
on the shoulders. 

The brewere were not always such a peaceable law-abiding set 
as they now are; for, in consequence of certain disturbances, 
which took place in and about the year 1198, Edward I. issued 
a mandate to the effect, that — ^^ Forasmuch as we have heard 
that the bakers and brewsters, and millers, in the city aforesaid, do 
frequently misconduct tliemselves by night, going about the city 
with swords and bucklers, and other arms, &c., we of our counsel 
wishmg to apply a fitting remedy to all the premises, and strike 
both them and others with fear of so offending, do command you, 
and strictly enjoin, that you will so chastise such bakers, brewsters, 
and misdoers, with corporal punishments, and so visit other 
ofiences, at your discretion, that they may excite in others a like 
fear of so offending," &c. 

Except on these filibustering expeditions, there was great 
rivalry and jealousy between the baker and the brewer as to pre- 
cedence, except when they were each condenmed to the piUory, 
and peked impartially with rotten eggs, dead cats, and other elec- 
tion finrours — then fellow-feeling made them wondrous kind. 

** The Baker says, « Pve the staff of life, 
And you're a aUy elf; ' 
The Brewer replied, with artful pride, 
* Why, this is life itself!'" 

D a 

S2 In Praise of Ale. 

The old proyerb of ^taking a roll out of the brewer's basket ^ 
explains itself. 

Our fbre&thers regarded ale with as much solicitude as bread ; 
they were equally valued as necessaries of life ; and for the better 
regulatmg their prices, various statutes or assizes {tusua pami et 
eerevuU) were from time to time passed. 

By a statute of the Pillory and Tumbrel, 51 Henry IIL, 
sL 6 (1267), brewers were fined for the first, second, and third 
offences, not over-grierous against the law of assize ; but if 
the offence was often, or over-grievous, the brewer was con- 
demned to the tumbrel, or some other correction. The trade of 
brewing, in the City of London, was at one time confined almost 
wholly to women ; hence the general name of ** ale wives," by 
which they were known. In London, none but freemen were 
permitted to keep ale houses ; and they, equally with those in the 
country, were subject to the periodical visitations of ** ale conners " 
or imners^ whose duty it was to inspect the measures, and taste the 
quality of the ale sold, and see that it was in accordance with the 
statute. Four ale conners were appointed for the metropolis, 
duly chosen each Midsummer Day by the livery men in Common 
Council Hall assembled, at which time the price was regulated for 
the ensuing year — e^g*^ by James L, cap. 9, one fiill quart of the 
best or two quarts of small ale were to be sold for one penny. 

In the old Court Rolls the ale-tasters or ale-founders are 
designated guitaiora eerevuU^ the terms commonly used in the 
records of the Court-Leet During the Commonwealth, when the 
Rolls of the New Buckingham Leet Court were kept m English, 
these officers appear under the name of ale-founders ; and this 
term is again used when the English language is reintroduced into 
the English Law Courts. In the country these officers were 
appointed by the Court-Leet. Their duties and fees are in- 
dicated in the following paragraph from Dr. Langbaine's collec- 
tions, January 23, 161 7: — *^John Shurle had a patent from 
Arthur Lake, Bishop of Bath and Wells, and Vice-Chancellor of 
Oxford, for the office of ale-taster [to the University]] and the 
makmg and assizing of barrels of beer. The office of ale tasting 
requires that he go to every ale-brewer that day they brew, 

History. 53 

to their courses, and taste their ale; for which, his 
ancient fee is one gallon of strong ale and two gallons of small 
wort, worth a penny." — Retiqtut Heamlans^ i., 38. 

Later on we find some of these officers had greatly scandalised 
the good people of Glasgow, who, determining to make a dead set 
ag^unst the town officers getting more buns and ale at the expense 
of the public, issued the following proclamation on the 12th 
April 1757 : — *<The whilk day, and considering that the town 
officers have been in use to get buns and ale iq>on the day on 
which the Lords of the Council come to town, by which sundry 
abuses have happened, and for remedying whereof, in time 
coming, the Magistrates and Counsell onlain, that for hereafter, 
the officers be allowed one shilling sterling at each time the 
Lords come to town at the Circuit." 

•*When we reflect," says Dr. Strang, "on the notoriously 
bibulous faculties of these functionaries, we may conclude that 
thiis enactment must have proved to them of no light grievance." 

The following charges appear in the household expenses of 
King Henry VI XL: — " The queen's maids of honour to have a 
chet loaf, a manchet, a gallon of ale, and a chine of beef for 
their breakfast." The brewer is informed not to put any hops or 
brimstone in the ale. In Elizabeth's time, beer was divided into 
single beer, or small beer, double beer, double-double beer, and 
dagger ale, which was particularly sharp and strong. Dagger ale 
was m great request, and was sold at a house in Holbom, in the 
same manner as the ale of Burton was, about the same period, at 
the Peacock, in Gray's Inn Lane. The '' Dagger " was for 
many years a celebrated ordinary and public-house; it was 
frequented m the day, like most places of the kind, by the better 
class, but at night was the resort of low gamblers and cozeners. 

** My lawyer's derke I lighted on last night 
In Holbum, at The Dagger." 

Ben Jonson, Alchymut^ a. i, s. I. 

The pies, the furmenty, and other dainties provided for the guests 
at " The Dagger," were in high repute. ^ A Dagger pie " was 
always spoken of with much relish ; but the ale, here drawn, was 

54 I^ Praise of Ale. 

celebrated for its strength : — ** This thy descriptton of Dagger ale 
augmenteth my thirst until I taste thereof" — Ulp. Fulwell. 

^ Sack makes men from words 

Fall to drawing of swords» 
And quarrelling endeth their quaffing ; 

Whilst Dagger ale barrels 

Bear off many quarrels. 
And often turn chiding to laugjhing." 

There was also a choice kind brewed* principally by the 
higher classes, called March ale, from being brewed in that 
noonth, and was scarcely fit for table until two years old. A 
cup of choice ale, with spices and sugar, and sometimes a toast, 
stirred up with a sprig of rosemary, was a draught for a queen. 
Decker, in hb *< Satiromastix/' mentions these various kinds of 
ale : — ^ But we must have March here, dooble, dooble here, 
Dagger ale, Rhenish.'' 

Up to this time we have ample records b the ** Buttery Rolls " 
of many a noble house, where herrings, and beef, and ale formed 
the sound substantial morning meal of ladies of rank and their 
families, when " nerves " were unknown, and '' vapours " never 
heard of. 

During this period we find beer was rising m estimation. 
Alarmed by the increase of alehouses, the Lord Mayor, aided by 
the magistrates of Lambeth and Southwark, suppressed above two 
hundred of them within their jurisdiction in 1 574; and the example 
was followed by Westminster, and other places round London. 

According to the Hospital Records of St. Thomas, dating 
(irom 1570 to 1574, we find that in condderation of the 
<< bote tyme of the year the poor shall have allowed, every one a 
day, three pptts of here for two months — a quart at dinner and 
a pint at supper — and at the end of two months their olde ordi- 
nary allowance, which is one quarte." 

During the Protectorate the brewers were held up to great 
ridicule by the Cavaliers, in consequence of Cromwell having 
been the son of a brewer; whilst Pride had followed the same 
trade, and Hewson and Scott, two prominent servants of the 

History. 55 

Lord Protector, had also been brewer's deriu. The *< Songs o' 
the Rump," in [consequence, contain innumerable sarcastic allu- 
sions to the trade. 

An anonynx>us writer, in the '' Annual Register " for 1 760, 
enables us to trace the progress of the London beer-trade from 
the Revolution down to the accession of George III. In the 
beginning of Kmg William's reign the brewer sold his brown ale 
for 16s. per barrel ; and the small beer, which was made from 
the same grains, at 6s. per barrel. The customers paid for their 
beer in ready money, and fetched it from the hrewhouse them- 
selvet. The strong beer was a heavy sweet beer : the small, with 
reverence be it spoken, was little better than the washings of the 
tubs, and had about at much of the extract of malt in it, as the 
last cup of tea which an economical housewife pours out to her 
guests has of the China herb. A change came over the charac- 
ter of the London beer in the reign of Queen Anne, owing to 
two very diHerent causes : the duty imposed upon malt and hops, 
and taxes, on account of the war with France on the one hand, 
and the more frequent residence of the gentry in London on the 
other. The duty on malt exceeding that on hops, the brewers 
endeavoured at a liquor in which more of the latter should be 
used. The people, not easily weaned from the sweet clammy 
drink to which they had been accustomed, drank ale, mixed 
with the new-fikshioned bitter beer, which they got from the 

From an early period ale was sold to the people m houses of 
entertainment, as it is at present ; a priest was forbidden by law 
to eat or drink at ceapeale the tum^ or places where ale was sold. 

The designation <* ale-house " first occurs in the laws of King 
Etbelred. Malpractices arose, and the then existing regulations 
not being sufficient, 11 Henry VII., c. 2 (1495)9 an Act 
against vagabonds and beggars placed ale-houses under the 
jurisdiction of justices of the peace. In consequence of abuses 
and disorders in ^common ale-houses and tippling-houses,'' a 
more stringent enactment was made by 4 and 5 Edward VL, 
C 25 (1552); and this statute furnished the basis of future 
legislation on the subject. 

56 In Praise of Ale. 

. In the GauUman^t Magazine for 17 J7 we find that in Scot- 
land an ale-houae keeper waa an important personage : — " An 
ale-house is called a change^ and the person who keeps it a 
gentleman ; nor is it uncommon to see a lord dismount from his 
horse, and taking one of these gentlemen in his arms, make him 
as many compliments as if he were a brother peer ; and the reason 
is, that the ale-houae keeper is of as good a ^mily as any in 
Scotland^ and periiaps has uken his degree as Master of Arts at 
the UniTcrsity.'* 

Hospitality has always been an English virtue* As early as 
1 1 70, Negel Wircker records the doings of the English colony of 
students in Paris, of whom he was one, in elegant Latinity, of 
which the following translation will suffice : — 

** The English most attrack his prying eyes. 
Their manners, words, and looks pronounce them wise. 
Theirs is the open hand, the bounteous mind ; 
Theirs solid sense with sparkling wit combm'd. 
Their graver studies jovial banquets crown ; 
Their rankling cares in flowing bowls they drown." 

This hospitable virtue was continued to a much later period, 
and was so generally practised that taverns or inns where payment 
was to be made were unknown. Indeed, what were known as 
mns were the houses of the nobility, who kept open house for all. 
For the poorer class, those who entertained a traveller had a right 
to a similar reception at his hands. James I. of Scotland, 
however, tried to dter this by establishing recognised taverns by 
Act of Pariiament, A.D. 1424: — ^ It is ordanit, that in all burrow 
townis, and throachfairis quhair conunoun passages and resetds, 
havand stables and chalmers ; and that men find with same bread 
and aill and all uther fiide ; alsweil for horse as men for reasonable 
price/' But travellers had been so long accustomed to. generous 
hospitality that they declined to patronise taverns on compulsion. 
The inns were neglected, and those who kept them presented a 
petition to Parliament complaining ** that the liegis traveUand in 
the realme quhen they cum to burrowis and throuchfairis, herbreis 
thame not in hostillaries, hot with their acquaintance and freindis." 

History. 57 

Thii peddoD brought forth an enactment prohibiting travellers to 
lodge in private houses where there were hostillaries, under a 
penalty of 4O6. 

1 have now dealt so fully with beer and ale, which is the 
apotheosis of barley, malt, and hops, that I cannot do better than 
go back to the first principles. 

John Taylor, the water poet, who flourished 1 584-1626, and 
kept a public in Phoenix Alley, Long Acre, was one of the most 
prolific and graceful writers on beer of his age, so I cannot do 
better than draw this chapter to a dose with his panegyric on 

** Ale is rightly called nappy, for it will set a nap upon a man's 
threadbare eyes when he is sleepy. It is called merry-goe-downe, 
for It slides down merrily. It is fragrant to the scent; it is most 
pleasant to the taste; the flowing and mantling of it (like chequer 
work), with the verdant smile of it, is delightful to the sight; it 
is touching or feeling to the braine and heart; and to please the 
senses all, it provokes men to singing and mirth, which is content^ 
iog to the hearing. The speedy uking of it dothe comfort the 
heavy and troubled minde ; it will make a weeping widow laugh 
and forget sorrow for her deceased husband ; it is truly termed 
the ^irit of the budery, for it puts spirit into all it enters. It 
makes the footman's head and heeles so light that he seems to fly 
as he runnes; it is the warmest lining of a naked man's coat; it 
satiates and asstiages hunger and cold ; with a touste it is the poor 
man's comfort; the shepheard, mower, plowman, and blacksmith's 
most esteemed purchase ; it is the tinker's treasure, the pedlar's 
Jewell, the beggar's joy, and the prisoner's loving nurse; it will 
whet the wit so sharp that it will make a carter talk of things 
beyond his reach ; it will set a bashful suitor a wooing ; it heats 
the chill blood of the aged; it will cause a man to speak past his 
owne or any other man's capacity of understanding; it sets an 
edge upon logick and retorick; it is a friend to the muses, it 
inspires the poore poet that cannot compasse the price of Canarie 
or Gascoigne; it mounts the musician above Ecla; it makes the 
ballad-maker rime beyond reason ; it is a repasser of decaied colour 
in the face; it puts eloquence into the oratour, it will make the 

58 In Praise rf Ak. 

philosopher talk profbundlyy the scholar learnedly, and the lawyer 
acutely and feelingly. Ale at Whitsuntide, or a Whitsun church 
ale, is a repairer of decayed country churches; it is a great firiend 
to the truth, for they that drink of it (to the purpose) will 
rereale all they knowe, be it never so secret to be kept. It is an 
emblem of justice, for it allows and yields measure; it will put 
courage into a coward and make him swagger and fight; it is a 
seale to many a goode bargaine; the physician will commend it ; 
the lawyer will defend it; it neither hurts nor kills any but those 
who abuse it unmeasurably and beyond bearing; it doth good to 
as many as take it rightly; it is as good as a paire of spectacles to 
deare the eyesight of an old parish clarke ; and, in conclusion, it 
is such a nourisher of mankinde, that if my mouthe were as bigge 
as Bishop^te, my pen as long as a may-pole, and my inke a 
flowing ^nring or a standing fishpond, yet I could not, with mouth, 
pen, or inke, speake or write the true worthinesse of ale/' 

This is certainly a pretty good prose epic in laudation of ale 
on the part of the water poet. 

The popularity of beer is shown by the variety of endearing 
terms by which it is known in various parts of the country. 
Here are a few, but the list is far from being an exhaustive one. 

According to the D'Urfey songs we have the following 
favourite ales: Lambeth ale, mum, stttchback, cyder, college 
ale. North Down, Old Pharaoh (which betrays the Eastern 
origin of ale), March beer, October, China ale, radish ale, Darby, 
Canterbury, winding up with <<a pint of purl for Harrison;" 
then '' Humming Ale,'' Huff Cup, nippitate, supernaculum. 

'' Ponfumo. My father oft will tell me of a drink 
In England found, and nipitate call'd, 
Which driveth all the sorrow from your hearts. 

** Ralph. Lady 'tis true; you need not lay your lips 
To better nipitate than there is." 

— Kfttgbt of the Burning Pestle. 

In "The Weakest goes to the Wall," we have: "Well fare 
England, where the poore may have a pot of ale for a penny ; 
fresh ale, finine ale, nappie ale, nippitate ale." 

History. 59 

In addition to D'Urfey, yii m Scotland and yell in the south of 
England, swanky and swipes for small beer, pongelo, stingo, 
October, barley bree, and barley broth — as Shakespeare puts it: — 

** Can sodden water, their barley broth. 
Decoct their cold blood to such valiant heat?" 

Bloomfield celebrates the ^'Horkey " beer: 

** And Fanner Cheerum went, good man, 
And broach'd the Horkey beer^ 
And iiub a mort of folks began 
To eat up our good cheer/' 

Jeannie Deans, in the <^ Heart of Midlothian,'' says to her fither: 
^ I learned from a decent woman, a grazier's widow, that they 
hae a cure for the muir-ill m Cumberland, whilk is ane pint, as 
they ca't of yill^ whilk is a drabble in comparison of our gawsie 
Scot's pint, and hardly a mutchkin, boil'd wi' sope and hartshorn 
dnps, and toomed down the creature's throat wi' ane horn." 

In his ''Pennyless Pilgrim," written in 1618, Taylor enume- 
rates some varieties of ale he sampled at Manchester. 

^ How merry Manchester did use me well. 
Their lives to me on tenter-hooks did rack; 
Roast, boiled, baked, too-too-much white claret sack, 
Nothing they thought too heavy or too hot. 
Can followed can, and pot succeeded pot. 
But what they could do, all they thought too little. 
Striving, in love, the traveller to whittle. 
We went into the house of one John Pinners 
(A man that lives among a crew of sinners). 
And there eight several sorts of ale we had. 
All able to make one stark drunk or mad. 
But 1, with courage, bravely flinched not. 
And gave the town leave to discharge the shot. 
We had at one time set upon the table 
Good ale of hyssop— 'twas no iEsop's fable: 
Then had we ale of sage, and ale of malt. 
And ale of wormwood, that could make one halt; 

6o In Praise of Ale. 

With ale of rosemary, and betony. 
And two ales more, else I needs must lie. 
But to conclude this drtnking-aley-tale» 
We had a sort of ale called scurvy ale." 

Medieral writers frequently mention the word Dommgo in 
connection with ale. Bratwahhe (Drunken Bamaby) says: 

^ TThere he sat and took some stingo. 
Next a Butcher and Dominga" 

The few words of the song which Silence sings in company 
with Justice Shallow and Falstaff* do not throw much light on 
the n^eaning of the above word. The refrain Shakespeare makes 
use of is ^m a song which appears in '' Letting of humours 
blood in the head vain/' i6cx>: — 

^ Monsieur Domingo is a skilful man, 

For much experience he hath lately got. 
Proving more physic in an alehouse can 

Than may be found in any vintner's pot: 
Beere, he protests, is sodden and refin'd, 
And this he speaks, being single penny lin'd. 


For when his purse is swolne but sixpence big, 

Why, then he swears — Now, by the Lord, I thinke 

All beere in Europe is not worth a iigge; 
A cup of claret is the only drinke. 

And thus his praise from beere to wine dothe goe. 

Even as' his purse in pence doth ebbe and flowe." 




** Caroif carol gmfy^ carol on our wayP 

Thi eariiest ale and beer songs were the Christinas carols, and 
those songs that celebrated the most important Christian festi- 
?al in the whole year, when the religious and secidar festivities 
were kept up frequently beyond Twelfth Day, even until St. 
Distaff's Day, when work was partially resumed. 

^ Partly work and pardy play 
You must on St. Distaff's Day — 
From the plough soon free your teame ; 
Then come home and fother them. 
If the maids a spinning goe, 
Bum the flax and fire the tow, 
Scorch the pkckets, but beware 
That ye sbge no maiden hair. 
Bring in pails of water, then 
Let the maids bewash the men ; 
Give St. Distaff all the right, 
Then bid Christmas sport good-night. 
And next morrow every one 
To his own vocatione." 

The guests departed, and the b'ghts were turned down until 
Whitsuntide; meantime the burthen, troubles, and routine of 
daily life were resumed. 

Pope Gregory was anxious to convert the heathen feasts into 
Christian festivals, as is shown by his letter to Melitus, a British 

62 In Praise cf Ale, 

Abbot — ** Whereas the people were accustomed to sacrifice 
many oxen m honour of cbemons, let them celebrate a religious 
and solenm festival, and not slay the animals diabolo, to the devil, 
but to be eaten themselves, ad laudem Dei, to the praise of God, 
and to celebrate the feast with thanksgiving and prayer." — Bede's 
« Ecdes. History." 

A modem version of Herrick embodies that sentiment: — 

** Tis Thou that crown'st my glittering hearth 

With guiltlesse mirth, 
And giv*st me wassaile bowles to drink. 

Spiced to the brink: 
Lord, 'tis Thy plenty-droppmg hand 

That soiles my land; 
And giv'st me for my bushell sowne. 

Twice ten for one." 

The Wassail, New Year, Twelfth Night, and Handsel Mon- 
day observances, all became affiliated to the Christmas fintivities, 
which were kept up with vigour by all classes for about a fort- 
night, and carol and wassail songs were in full swing. Beck- 
with, writing in 1 784, states, that ** in Yorkshire the festival of 
Christmas was held for twenty days, and some persons extended 
it to Candlemas." Of course the Wasssul observances are in- 
cluded in these Christmas festivities of which this formed a part. 
In the Glossary to the Exmoor Dialect, Wassail is defined as ** a 
drinking song on Twelfth Day eve, throwing toast on apple trees 
in order to have a fruitful year, which seems to be a relic of the 
heathen sacrifice to Pomona." 

In some remote place the yule-log still blazes in the chimney 
of the rusdc at Christmas eve, under the different appellations of 
Christmas-stock, log-block, &c. The wassail was regularly 
carried from door to door in Cornwall forty or fifty years ago ; 
and even now a measure of flip, ale, or porter, and sugar, or 
some such beverage, is handed round while tlie yule-log is burn- 
ing — or stock, as it is denominated in the western counties. The 
wassai) bowl is of Saxon origin, and merits notice on account of 
the well-known story. Vortigem, prince of the Silures, fell in 

Carols and Wassail Songs. 63 

lore with Rowena, the niece of Hengist. She presented the 
prince with a bowl of spiced wine, saying in Saxon, ^ Waes 
heal Hlafbrd Cyning." which signifies, " Be of health, lord king." 
Vortig^ni married her, and thus his kingdom fell to the Saxons. 
Robert of Gloucester celebrates the erent: — 

** Kuteshire and sitte hire adoune, and glad drink hire heil, 
And that was m this land the Verst, * Washail,' 
As in the language of Saxyone that we might evere i' wite. 
And so well he paieth the fole about, that he is not yet 

Waesheil thus became the name of the drinking cups of the 
Anglo-Saxons ; and those cups were afterwards in constant use. 
However our ancestors carolled gaily and wassailled freely in due 
season. The following are some of the lays that were chanted. 
According to our lights, some of these appear somewhat irrever- 
ent, but they unquestionably represented the feelmgs of the times 
at which they were composed. 

The first one is taken from the Cotton MS. (beginning of the 
sixteenth century) in the British Museum, and is there intituled 
^ A Christenmasse Carol " : — 

A bone, God wot ! 

Sticks in my throat — 
Without I have a draught 

Of comie ale, 

Nappy and stale, 
My life lies in great waste. 

Some ale or beer. 

Gentle butler. 
Some liquor thou us show. 

Such as thou mash 

Our throats to wash. 
The best were that you brew. 

Saint, master, and knight 
That Saint Malt hight. 

64 In Praise of Ale. 

Were pressed between two stones ; 

The sweet humour 

Of his liquor 
Would make us smg at once. 

Master Wortley, 

I dare well say — 
I tell you as I think — 

Would not, I say, 

Bid us this day. 
But that we should have drink. 

His men so tall 

Walk up his hall 
With many a comely dish ; 

Of hb good meat 

I cannot eat. 
Without I drink, I wis. 

Now give us drink, 

And let cat wink, 
I tell you all at once, 

It sticks so sore 

I may sing no more. 
Till I have drunken once. 

The next appears m ^ Ritson's Collection " : — 

** God bless the master of this house. 
The mistress also, 
And all the litde children 
That round the table go, 

" And all your kin and kinsfolk. 
That dwell both far and near ; 
I wish you » merry Christmas, 
And a happy New Year.'* 

Carols and Wassail Songs. 65 

Mr. Llewellyn Jewitt, in his collection of Derby songs, 
shows that a spirit of thankfulness prevailed : — 

^The morrow when Mass had been said in the Chappell, 
Six Tables were covered in the Hall 1 
And in comes the Squire and makes a short speech : 
It was, * Neighbours, you are welcome all ; 

" ' But not a Man here shall taste my March Beer 
Till Christmas Carroll be sung.' 
Then all dapt their Hands and they shouted and sung 
Till the Hall and the Pariour did ring. 

^ Now Mustard, Brawn, Roast Beef, and Plumb Pies 
Were set upon every Table: 
And noble George Gamwell said, ' Eat and be merry. 
And drink as long as you're able.'* 

** When dinner was ended his Chaplain said grace, 
And * Be merry, my Friends,' said the 'Squire ; 
* It rains and it blows, but call for more Ale, 
And lay some more wood on the fire.' " 

And so they did. *< The Trusby Hunting Song " ends with 
the following appropriate verse : 

^ Now, Gallants, I bid you Farewell, 
For fear I your Patience have tyr'd ; 
And hie for a Glass of good AJe, 
That Poetry may be admired." 

Then there was the time-honoured toast : — 

<' A m^rry Christmas and a happy New Year." 

The above was generally the prelude to the good things that 
the householder was expected to provide. The date of the next 
is given by Mr. Chappell as 1642. 


66 In Praise of Ale. 

All You that are Good Fellows. 

All you that are good fellows. 

Come hearken to my song ; 
I know you do not hate good cheer. 

Nor liquor that is strong. 
I hope there is none here 

But soon will take my part. 
Seeing my master and my dame 

Say welcome with their heart 

This is a time of jo3rfulness. 

And merry time of year, 
When as the rich with plenty stor'd 

Do make the poor good cheer. 
Plum-porridge, roast beef, and minc'd pies, 

Sund smoking on the board; 
With other brave varieties 

Our master doth afford. 

Our mistress and her cleanly maids 

Have neatly play'd the cooks; 
Methinks these dishes eagerly 

At my sharp stomach looks. 
As though they were afraid 

To see me draw my blade; 
But I revenged on them will be, 

Until my stomach's stay'd. 

Come fill us of the strongest, 

Snudl drink is otrt of date; 
Methinks I shall fare like a prince, 

And sit in gallant state: 
This is no miser's feast. 

Although that things be dear; 
God grant the founder of this feast 

Each Christmas keep good cheer; 

Carob and Wassail Songs. 67 

This day for Christ we celebrate, 

Who was bom at thb time; 
For which all Christians should rejoice. 

And I do sing in rhyme. 
When you have given thanks. 

Unto your dainties hlL 
Heay'n bless my master and my dame; 

Lord bless me and you all. 

The next extract, firom an old baUad, was at one time yery 
popular. It is given in the Pepys' CoUection, printed for P. 
Brooksby and licensed by Roger L' Estrange, entitled **Old 
CHaisTMAs Returned^ oa HospiTAurr Reyited; being a 
looking-glass for rich misers, wherein they may see (if they be 
not blind) how much they are to blame for their penurious 
housekeeping; and likewise an encouragement to those noble- 
minded gentry who lay out a great part of their estate in 
hotpbditie rdiering such persons as have need thereto : 

* Who feasts the poor, a true reward shall find. 
Or helps the old, the feeble, lame, or blind' ** 

The tune, as given by Mr. ChappeU, is named the *^ Delights of 
the Bottle." 

** All you that to feasting and mirth are inclined, 
Come, here is good news for to pleasure your mind. 
Old Christmas is come for to keep open house; 
He scorns to be guilty of starving a mouse : 
Then come, boys, and welcome, of diet the chief. 
Plum-pudding, goose, capon, minc'd pies, and roast beef. 

** The times were ne'er good since Old Christmas was fled. 
And all hospitality hath been so dead ; 
No minh at our festivals late did appear. 
They scarcely would part with a cup of March beer. 
But now you shall see for the ease of your grief, 
Plum-pudding, goose, capon, &c., &c. 

S 2 

68 In Praise of Ale. 

^ The butler and baker, they now may be glad, 
The times they are mended, though they have been bad. 
The brewer, he likewise may be of good cheer. 
He shall have good trading for ale and strong beer. 
All trades shall be jolly, and have for relief, 
Plum-pudding, goose, capon, 5cc., &c. 

^ Those that have no com at the cards for to play. 
May sit by the fire, and pass time away. 
And drink off their moisture, contented and free; 
My honest good fellow, come, here b to thee; 
And when they are hungry, fall to their relief, 
Plum pudding, goose, capon, &c., &c. 

** Then well may we welcome Old Christmas to town. 
Who brings us good cheer and good liquor so brown, 
To pass the cold winter away with delight, 
We feast it all day, and we frolic all night. 
Both hunger and cold we keep out with relief, 
Plum pudding, goose, cqx>n, &c., &c.'* 

Bamfyldes' poem, though it can scarcely be called a carol, 
deserves a place among Christmas poetry :-=- 

<< With footstep slow, in furry pall yclad. 

His brows enwreathed with holly never sere, 
Old Christmas comes, to close the wained year; 

And aye the shepherd's heart to make right glad ; 

Who, when his teenung flocks are homeward had, 
To blazing hearth repairs, and nut-brown beer. 
And views well pleased the ruddy prattlers dear 

Hug the grey mungrel; meanwhile maid and lad 

Squabble for roasted crabs. Thee, Sire, we hail, 
Whether thine aged limbs thou dost enshroud 

In vest of snowy white and hoary veil, 
Or wrap'st thy visage in a sable cloud; 

Thee we proclaim with mirth and cheer, nor fail 
To greet thee well with many a carol loud." 

rols and Wassail Songs. 69 

The song . Janus alao is a aong of welcome. It appeared 
originallyin « Che Thracian Wonder," by Webster and Rowley:— 

« Now does jolly Janus greet your merriment; 
For since die world's creation 
I never changed my fashion ; 
'Tis good enough to fence the cold: 
My hatchet serves to cut the firing yearly, 
My bowl preserves the juice of grape and barley; 
Fire, wine, and strong beer, makes me live so long here, 
To give the merry new year a welcome in. 

** AU the potent powers of plenty wait upon 
Yoo that intend to frolic to-day: 
To Bacchus I commend ye, and Ceres eke attend ye, 
To keep encroaching cares away. 
That Boreas' blast may never blow to harm you; 
Nor Hiems' frosts, but give you cause to warm you : 
Old fathtr Janevere drinks a health to all here. 
To give the merry new year a welcome in." 

^ Those who at Christmas do repine, 
And would fain hence despatch him. 
May they with old Duke Humphrey dine, 
Or else may Squire Ketch catch 'em.** 

According to Geo. Wither, even Justices suspended business 
during Christmas: — 

** Now poor men to the justices 

With capons make their errants; 
And if they hap to fail of these, 

They plague them with their warrants. 
But now they feed them with good cheer, 
Acd what they want, they take in beer, 
For Christmas comes but once a year, 
^ •"^ »h«i thev •»»a|l h^ merry." 

Jo In Praise of Ale. 

Grahame has caught the spirit of the time when he wrote: — 

** Long ere the lingering dawn of that blythe mom 
Which ushers in the year, the roosting cock. 
Flapping his wings, repeats his 'larum shrill ; 
But on that busy mom no flail obeys 
His rousing call — no sounds but sounds of joy 
Salute the ear. The first-foot's entering step 
That sudden on the floor is welcome heard. 
Ere blushing maids have braided up their hair, 
The laugh, the hearty kiss, the << Good New Year," 
Pronounced with honest warmth in village, grange, 
And barrow town; the steaming flagon borne 
From house to house, elates the poor man's heart 
And makes him feel that life has still its joys. 
The aged and the young, man, woman, child. 
Unite in social glee— even stranger dogs. 
Meeting with bristling backs, soon lay aside 
Their snarling aq>ect, and in sportive chase. 
Excursive scour, or wallow in the snow. 
With sober cheerfulness the grandam eyes 
Her offsprings round her all in health and peace, 
And, thankful she is spared to see this day 
Return once more, breathes low a secret prayer 
That God would shed a blessmg on their heads." 

The next two or three songs are of more recent date. '< Eng- 
land's Golden Days ** is imprinted as being published by T. E. 
Porday, St Paul's, which would fix the date of issue about thirty 
years bacL Purday afterwards removed to Holbora, where I 
knew him about i86a 

England's Golden Days, 

I sing, but 'tis an English song, for oh, I love to praise 
Each custom that is handed down from England's golden days; 
Let other bards praise foreign climes, 'tis not the theme for me, 
Old England with her happy hom#»« n\s inip«rrr'. • 


-. cm that minscrei taeiue oau ueiu-r lunu it5 lays, 

Than nnging to a merry strain, old EDgland's golden days. 

I lo?e an English spring-time, when early flowers appear. 
The soft blue-bell and all that tell the opening of the year; 
When rosy giris, with chestnut curls, peep from each cottage door, 
And nature in her green array, is lovely as of yore. 

I do not deem that minstrel, &c. 

For scenes of beauty, who the palm to foreign climes would 

That views in glorious summer-time an English harvest field; 
Her murmuring rills, her fertile hills, her rivers clear and free. 
Oh, there is not a fairer scene an Englishman can see. 

I do not deem that mmstrel, &c. 

But sturdy winter comes at last, and good old Christmas cheer, 

In huts and halls proclaims to all the season of the year; 

The peasant with his home-brew'd ale, the squire with good old 

In universal holiday and social mirth combine. 

I do not deem that minstrel, &c. 

Then who that loves old England, says her golden days are o*er; 

Behold her commerce, is she not, as prosperous as before; 

She has statesmen wise, and heroes brave, to fill the passmg 

And as in England's by-gone days, a true-born Britui Queen, 

I do not deem that minstrel, &c. 

The next was also issued by T. E. Purday. 

Merkie England. 

Oh! why was England merry call'd, I pray you tell me why? 
Because old England merry was in merry times gone by; 
She knew no dearth of honest mirth to cheer both son and sire. 
And kept it up o'er wassail cup around the Christmas fire. 

72 In Praise of Ale. 

When fields were dight with blossoms white, and leaves of lively 

The majrpole rear'd its flowery bead, and dancing round were seen 
A youthAil band, join'd hand in hand, with shoon and buckles trim. 
And softly rose the melody of Flora's morning hymn. 

Her garlands too of Taried hue the merry milkmaid wove. 
And Jack the piper caprioled within his dancing grove. 
Will, Friar Tuck, and Little John, with Robin Hood their king. 
Bold foresters! blythe choristers! made vale and mountain ring. 

On every spray blooms lovely May, and balmy zephyrs breathe. 
Ethereal splendour all above, and beauty all beneath. 
The cuckoo's song, the woods among, sounds sweetly as of old. 
As bright and warm the sunbeams shine, then why should hearts 
grow cold. 

The following gem is from ** The Old Courtier,'* temp. Queen 
Anne: — 

<< With an old fashion when Christmas was come. 
To call in his neighbours with bagpipe and drum; 
And good cheer enough to furnish every old room, 
And old liquor able to make a cat speak and a man dumb." 

Old Tusser gives similar advice : — 

** At Christmas be merry and thankful withal. 
And feast thy poor neighbours, the great and the small.*' 

It cannot be denied that our ancestors prolonged the festivities 
vigorously at Christmastide. The fun went htX, and furious, and 
wassail was put away — perhaps not wisely, but too welL They 
had a good capacity: their appetites were not vitiated and 
destroyed by sherry or gm and bitters, S. and B/s, angostura, or 
any such compounds. The following lines were specially in- 
tended for Twelfth Night, and are taken from a black letter 

Carols and Wassail Songs. 73 

coUection, but no date is given. The tune is " Gallants, come 

A Carol for a Wasssl Bowl. 

A jolly wassel bowl, 

A wassel of good ale. 
Well fare the butler's soul 

That setteth this to sale ; 
Our jolly wassel. 

Good dame, here at your door 

Our wassel we begm; 
We are all maidens poor, 

We pray now let us in. 
With our wassel. 

Our wassel we do fill 

With apples and with spice ; 

Then grant us your good will 
To taste here once or twice 
Of our good wassel. 

If any maidens be 

Here dwelling in this house. 

They kindly will agree 
To take a full carouse 
Of our wassel. 

But here they let us stand 

All freezing in the cold; 
Good master, give conmiand 

To enter, and be bold. 
With our wassel. 

Much joy unto this hall 

With us is entered in ; 
Our master, first of all, 

Wc hope will now begin 
Of our wassel. 

74 /« Praise of Ah. 

And after, his good wife 

Our spic^ bowl will try; 
The Lord prolong your life, 

Grood fortune we espy 
For our wassel. 

Some bounty from your hands. 

Our wassel to maintam: 
Well buy no house nor lands 

With that which we do gain 
With our wassel. 

This is our merry night 

Of choosing king and queen, 

Then be it your delight 
That something may be seen 
In our wasseL 

It is a noble part 

To bear a liberal mind; 
God bless our master's heart, 

For here we comfort find 
With our wassel. 

And now we must be gone. 
To seek out more good cheer 

Where bounty wOl be shown, 
As we have found it here, 
With our wassel. 

Much joy betide them all. 

Our prajfers shall be still, 
We hope, and ever shall. 

For this 3rour great good will 
To our wassel. 

According to the Glossary of the Exmore Dialect, << watsail 
is a drinking song on Twelfth-day Eve, throwing toast on the 

Carols and Wassail Songs. 7S 

apple-treesy io order to ha?e a fruitful year, which aeems to be a 
relic of the heathen sacrifice to Pomona." A similar and more 
universal custom preraib in the south» where the labourers pour 
a small quantity of beer on the ground before drinking — the 
libation to mother earth. 

The Twelfth ^ight song from Herrick's «« Hesperides," gives 
the composition of lamb's wool, and is a good description of 
observances kept up on that night when cakes and ale were had 
in combination: — 

** Now, now the mirth comes. 

With the cake full of plums, 
Where beane's the king of die sport here 

Beside we must know, 

The pea also 
Must revell as queene in the court here. 

" Begin then to chuse. 

This night as ye use. 
Who shall for the present delight here; 

Be a king by the lot. 

And who shaU not 
Be Twelve-day queene for the night here. 

** Which knowne, let us make 

Joy-sops with the cake ; 
And let not a man then be seen here 

Who unurg'd will not drinke. 

To the base from the brink, 
A health to the king and the queene here. 

^ Next crowne the bowle full 

With gentle lamb's-wooll ; 
Adde sugar, nutmeg, and ginger. 

With store of ale too; 

And thus ye must doe. 
To make the wassaile a swinger. 

76 In Praise of Ale. 

<< Give then to tlie king 

And queene wassailiDg, 
And though with ale ye be whet here, 

Yet part ye from hence. 

As free from offence. 
As when ye innocent met here/' 

The next wassailing song is interestbg as showing local cus- 
toms; but the one referred to is not peculiar to Gloucestershire, 
though it varies slightly in different counties. *^ It is still usual in 
many parts of England to hand round the wassail, or health-bowl, 
on New Year's Eve. The custom is supposed to be of Saxon 
origin, and to be derived from one of the observances of the 
Feast of Yale. The following is a universal favourite in Glou- 
cestershire, particularly in the neighbouriiood of 

* Stow-on-the-Wold, 
Where the winds blow cold,' 

as the old rhyme says." — Bell. ^Wassel or wassail," says 
Stevens, ** is still in use in the midland counties, and it signifies 
what is sometimes called lamb's wool, f.^., roasted apples in strong 
beer, with sugar and spice. It is sometimes used for general riots, 
intemperance, or festivity. Ben Jonson personifies wassel thus: 
Enter Wassel^ like a neat sempster and songster, her page bearing 
a brown bowl, dressed with ribbons and rosemary, before her." 
By the way, dog's nose is a tipple that one hears very little of at 
the present day, though it was once very popular. 

<* Wassail! wassail! all over the town, 
Our toast it is white, and our ale it is brown ; 
Our bowl is made of a maplin tree; 
We be good fellows all — I drink to thee. 

'* Here's to our horse, and to his right ear, 
God send our measter a happy new year ; 
A happy new year as e'er he did see — 
With my wassailing bowl I drink to thee. 

Carob and Wassail Songs. 77 

** Here's to oar mare, and to her right eye, 
God aend our mistress a good Christinas pie; 
A good Christmas pie as e'er I did see — 
With my wassailing bowl I drink to thee. 

'* Here's to our cow, and to her long tail, 
God send our measter as never may fail 
Of a cup of good beer: I pray you draw near. 
And our jolly wassail it's then you shall hear. 

** Be there any maids? I suppose here be some; 
Sure they will not let young men stand on the cold stone! 
Sing hey, O maids! come trole back the pin» 
And the fairest maid in the house let us all in. 

** Come, butler, come, bring us a bowl of the best ! 
I hope your soul in heaven will rest ; 
But if you do bring us a bowl of the small, 
Then down £dl butler, and bowl and all." 

Here are two versions of one of the oldest wassail songs 
extant For the antique edition I am indebted to Notes and Queries 
for December 1 860. The modernised and fuller version appears 
in Mr. Chappell's Collection. It is stated that the ballad was 
taken from a broadside, published, without date or printer's name, 
about the middle of the seventeenth century. 

No. I. 

** Brynge us home good ale, syr, brynge us home good ale, 
And for our der lady, lady love, brynge us som good ale. 
Brynge us home no beff, syr, for that is full of bonys. 
But brynge home goode ale y nough, for that my love alone ys : 
Brynge us home no wetyn brede, for y' be ful of branne; 
Nothyr of no ry brede, for y* is of y* same; 
Brynge us home no porke, syr, for y' is verie fatt; 
Nothyr no bariy brede, for neyther love 1 that; 

78 In Praise of Ale. 

Brynge us home no muton, for that is tough and lene; 

Neyther no trypys, for thei be seldyn dene; 

Brynge us home no yeelly syr, that do I not desyr; 

But brynge us home good ale y nough to drynke by y* fyer; 

Brynge us home no syder, nor no palde wyne. 

For and y* do thow shalt have Criste's curse and mme." 

No. IL 

*< Bring us in no brown bread, for that is made of bran. 
Nor bring us in no white bread, for therein is no grain ; 
But bring us in good ale, and bring us in good ale, 
For our blessed lady's sake, bring us in good ale. 

** Bring us in no beef, for there is many bones. 
But bring us in good ale, for that go'th down at once; 

But bring us in, &c. 

*< Bring us in no bacon, for that is passbg fiu. 
But bring us in good ale, and give us enough of that. 

But bring us in, &c. 

" Bring us in no mutton, for that is passing lean, ^ 
Nor bring us in no tripes, for they are seldom clean. 

But bring us in^ &c. 

** Bring us in no eggs, for there are many shells, 
But bring us in good ale, and giye us nothing else. 

But bring us in, &c. 

" Bring us in no butter, for there are many hairs, 
Nor bring us in no pig's flesh, for that will make us bears. 

But bring us in, dec. 


Bring us in no puddings, for therein is all God's good. 
Nor bring us in no venison, that is not for our blood. 

But bring us in, dec. 


Carols and Wassail Songs. 79 

Bring us m DO capoo's fleshy for that is often dear. 
Nor bring us in no duck's fleshy for they slobber in the mere 
But bring us in good ale, and bring us in good ale. 
For our blessed hdfa sake, bring us in good ale." 

The next is reprinted in the Percy Society's Collection, vol. 
xxiiL It is sung by Duiimulation personatmg Simon of Swiyn- 
sett, when oflering the poisoned ale to the kmg, m the play of 
Ktmgb JoHiN. The date is about i $50. 

** The dayes of your lyfe neyer fell ye suche a cuppe, 
So good and so holesome, if ye would drynke it upp: 
It passeth Malmesaye, Capryck, Tyre, or Ypocras; 
By my faythe I thynke a better drynke never was. 

** Wassayle, wassayle, out of the milke payle, 
Wassayle, wassayle as whyte as my nayle, 
Wassayle, wassayle in snowe, froste, and hayle, 
Wassayle, wassayle with patriche and rayle, 
Wassayle, wassayle that much doth arayle, 
Wassayle, wassayle that never will fiiyle." 

Mr. Beckwith rebtes, m the Genilenuufi Magazme^ 1 784, that 
** Near Leeds, in Yorkshire, when he was a boy, it was customary 
for many fiimilies, on the twelfth eve of Christmas, to invite their 
relations, friends, and neighbours to their houses, to play at cards 
and to partake of a supper, of which minced pies were an indis- 
pensable ingredient; and after supper was brought in the wassail 
cup or wassail bowl, of which every one partook by taking with a 
spoon out of the ale a roasted apple and eating it, and then drinking 
the healths of the company out of the bowl, wishing them a 
merry Christmas and a happy New Year. (The festival of 
Christmas used in this part of the country to hold for twenty 
days, and some persons extended it to Candlemas.) The in- 
gredients put into the bowl, viz., ale, sugar, nutmeg, and roasted 
apples, were usually called lamb's wool." 

The next, said to be a corruption of a much older song, was 

8o In Praise of Ale. 

taken from a little chapbook printed at Manchester, entitled 
^ A Selection of Christmas Hymns :'' — 

^ Here we come a wesseling. 
Among the leaves so green; 
Here we come a wandering. 

So fair to be seen. 
Love and joy comes to you* 
And to your wessel too, 
And God send you a happy new year, 

A new year, 
And God send you a happy new year. 
Our wessel cup is made of the rosemary tree. 
So is your beer of the best bariey. 

*< We are not daily beggars, 

That beg from door to door; 
But we are neighbours' children. 
Whom you haye seen before. 

Lore and joy, &c. 

^ Call up the butler of this house, 
Put on his golden ring, 
Let him bring us up a glass of beer, 
And the better we shall sing. 

Love and joy, dec. 

*< We haye got a little purse 

Made of stretching leather skin. 
We want a little of your money 
To line it well within. 

Loye and joy, dec. 

<< Bring us out a table, 

And spread it with a cloth. 
Bring us out a mouldy cheese. 
And some of your Christmas loaf. 

Love and joy, &c. 

Carols and Wassail Songs. 8 1 

** God bleu the master of this house. 
Likewise the mistress too. 
And all the little children 
That round the table go. 

Love and joy, 6cc. 

** Good master and mistress. 

While you're sitting by the fire, 
Piay think of us poor children. 

Who are wand'ring in the mire. 
Lore and joy come to you, 
And to your wessel too. 
And God send you a happy new year, 

A new year. 
And God send you a happy new year. 
Our wessel cup is made of the rosemary tree, 
So is your beer of the best barley." 

The toast that was usually drank on these occasions ran some- 
what like this: — 

** A pocket full of money, and a cellar full of beer. 
We wish you merrie and a happy new year." 

A Carol for Twelfth Day. 

To the tune of the LaJy'j Fall. 

(Extracted from Chappell's Version.) 

Mark weU my heavy, doleful tale. 

For Twelfth Day now is come, 
And now I must no longer stay. 

And say no word but mum; 
For I perforce must take my leave 

Of all my dainty cheer — 
Plum-porridge, roast beef, minc'd pies, 

My strong ale and my beer. 

Kind-hearted Christmas now adieu. 
For I with thee must part; 

82 In Praise of Ale. 

But oh I to take my leate of thee 

Doth grieye me at the heart. 
Thou wert ao ancient housekeeper. 

And mirth with meat did'st keep ; 
But thou art going out of town. 

Which canaes me to weep. 

Come, butler, fill a brimmer full 

To cheer my fainting heart. 
That to old Christmas I may drink 

Before he does depart. 
And let each one that 's in the room, 

With me likewise condole; 
And now to cheer their ^irits sad, 

Let each one drink a bowl. 

And when the same it hath gone round, 

Then fall unto your cheer; 
For you well know that Christmas time 

It comes but once a jrear. 
But this good draught which I have drank 

Hath comforted my heart; 
For I was very fearful that 

My stomach would depart. 

Thanks to my master and my dame, 

That do such cheer aflbrd; 
God bless them that, each Christmas, they 

May furnish so their board. 
My stomach being come to me, 

I mean to have. a bout; 
And now to eat most heartily — 

Good friends I do not flout. 

Here is a good general song for Christmas, for which I am 
indebted for permission to publish, to Messrs. Novello, Ewer, 
& Co. 

Carols and Wassail Songs. 83 

Comb Gather Round the Christmas Fire. 

Words by W. T. Hulland. Music by C. H. Gregory, 

Mus. Bac. Oxon. 

Come, gather round the Christmas fire. 

And pile the fuel high. 
For Christmas comes but once a year, 

Let's spend it merrily. 

Away with grief, and welcome love. 

Peace and goodwill to-day; 
For life is short, another year 

May find us in the clay. 

May he, who o'er some stricken heart, 

The oil and wine has shed, 
Now find that every drop has brought, 

A blessing on his head. 

Then fill your glasses brimming high, 

And let this be the toast: 
** May he who loves his fellows best. 

Enjoy his Christmas most** 

For Christmas comes but once a year. 
Let 's spend it merrily. 

There is no song, story, or proverb without its converse ; so, 
while the well-to-do could rejoice over their wassail, the poor 
had to lament in a dirge over the memory of past drinks :— 

Christmas Day. 
By a Poor Old Man. 

In times far back, my Christmas fare 

Was turkey and a chine: 
A pudding made of things noost rare, 

And plenty of good wine. 

F 2 

84 In Praise of Ale. 

When poorer grown, I still could dine 

On gQOW or roasted pig ; 
A glass of grog instead of wine, 

And dance the merry jig. 

When times grew worse, my Christmas fare 

Was beef and pudding plain; 
A pot of beer m lieu of grog — 

Nor did I then complain. 

But now my mirth is turned to grief. 

For Christmas Day is near; 
No turkey, pudding, chine, or beef. 

No wine — no grog — no beer. 

Song of Christmas. 

By Charles Dickens. Music by G. H. Rodwell (D'Ahnaine). 

Tho' the wind blow, tho' the snow fall. 

We laugh at the old care to-day. 
They're laughing and sing^)g in bower and hall. 

And we'll be as merry as they, as they. 

And we'U be merry as they. 
The nusletoe hangs on the rafters high. 

Fill, fill every flagon with cheer. 
For Christmas was meant for jollity. 

And Cometh but once a year, a year. 
And cometh but once a year. 
Yes, Christmas was meant for jollity. 
Yes, Christmas was meant for jollity. 
And cometh but once a year, 
And cometh but once a year. 

Bring in the haunch, let the hearth blaze. 

Eat, drink, and chase every pain. 
With joyous old carols of by-gone days, 

We seem to lire over again, 

We seem to live over again. 

Carols and Wassail Songs. 85 

Then what care we for a wintry 8ky» 

Who dream but of sunshine here. 
While Christmas was meant for jollity^ 

And Cometh but once a year. 

And Cometh but, &c. 

A Christxus Song. 

The winter festival's returned. 

Killed fatten'd ox and sheep : 
The cheerful Christmas log is bum'd. 

And we its vigil keep. 
The pitcher's filled, come, play your parts, 

In jest, or song, or tale. 
See! on the board, my jovial hearts, 

The spicy toast and ale. 

The holly boughs with berries red, 

That thro' the green leaves glow, 
Around the walls and windows spi^ad. 

Look gay in frost and snow. 
The misletoe delight imparts, 

To pluck its berries pale. 
Delight, too, flows, my jovial hearts. 

From spicy toast and ale. 

There waits, a midnight minstrel throng, 

Their dulcet music play: 
The bellman rings a loud ding dong. 

And trolls his annual lay; 
But fleeting night too soon departs. 

When joys like these prevail, 
Remember, then, my jovial hearts. 

Mirth, |ong, and toast and ale. 

Printed by J. Catnach, Monmouth Court, Seven Dials. 

86 In Praise rf Ale. 

Chustmas Eye. 

Look where you will, you'll neatness find t' night. 
To view that neatness is a pleasing sight ; 
Both young and old are eager to prepare 
To cheer their friends with true old English fare. 
Good home-brew'd, too — I hope you will not fail 
To let your bellman taste your Christmas ale. 

A spirit of reverence and thankfulness is not out of place in 
any book, so I will close this chapter with S. Rickard's ode to 

Christmas Day. 

Though rude winds usher thee, sweet day. 

Though clouds thy face deform. 
Though nature's grace is swept away, 

Before thy sleety storm ; 
Ev'n in thy sombrest wintry rest, 
Of blessed days thou art most blest. 

Nor frigid air, nor gloomy morn, 

Shall check our jubilee ; 
Bright is the day when Christ was bom. 

No sun need shine but He ; 
Let roughest storms their coldest blow. 
With love of Him our hearts shall glow. 

Oft as this joyous mom doth come. 

To speak our Saviour's love. 
Oh, may it bear our spirits home. 

Where He now reigns above ; 
That day which brought Him from the skies. 
And man restores to Paradise ! 




** Launce. I/thou wUt go with me to the alehouse^ lo; if fwt^ 
thou art an HArew^ a Jew^ and not worth the name of a Chrittum ; 
because thou hast not so much Charily as to go to the alehouse with 
a ChristiauJ** — ^Two Gentlemen of Verona, act iL, scene 5. 

Tm Church wakes and festivals, as originally established in this 
country, were based upon religious principles, following the lines 
of the agapsB or love feasts of the early Christians, which were in 
turn derived finom the older heathen observances. Pope Gregory 
encouraged these feasts and solemn festivals. Animals should not 
be sacri6ced diabolo, to the devil, but ad laudem Dei, to the praise 
of God. 

These festivals were primitively held upon the day of the 
dedication of the church in each district, or the birthday of the 
saint whose relics were therein deposited, or to whose honour it 
was consecrated: for which purpose the people were directed to 
make booths and tents with the boughs of trees adjoining to the 
churches, circa easdem ecclesias (Bede, <<£ccl. Hist." lib. 1, 
cap. 30), and in them to celebrate the feast with thanksgiving 
and prayer. In process of time the people assembled on the 
vigil or evening preceding the saint's day, and came, says an old 
authority, ** to churche with candellys bumyng, and would wake, 
and come toward night to the church in their devocion " (*< Homily 
for the Vigil of St. John Baptist," MS. Harl.), agreeable to the 
requisition contained in one of the canons established by King 
Edgar, whereby those who came to the wake were ordered to 
pray devoutly, and not to betake themselves to drunkenness and 

88 In Praise of Ale. 

debauchoy. The necessity for this restriction plainly indicates 
that. abases of this religious institution began to make their appear- 
ance as early as the tenth century. The author above cited goes 
on, <'and afterwards the pepul fell to letcherie, and songs, and 
daunses, with harping and piping, and also to glotony and sinne; 
and so toomed the holyness to cursydness; wherefore holy faders 
ordeyned the pepull to leve that waking and to fast the evyn, for 
of eryn they were wont to come to churche." In proportion as 
the festifals deviated from the original design of their institution, 
they became more popular, the conviviality was extended, and 
not only the inhabitants of the parish to which the church 
belonged were present at them, but they were joined by others 
from the neighbouring towns and parishes, who flocked together 
upon these occasions; and the greater the reputation of the tutelar 
saint, the greater generally was the promiscuous assembly. The 
pedlars and hawkers attended to sell their wares, and so by 
degrees the religious wake was converted into a secular fair. 
The riots and debaucheries which eventually took place at these 
nocturnal meetings, became so offensive to religious persons that 
they were suppressed, and regular km established, to be held on 
the saint's day, or upon some other day near to it as might be 
most convenient; and if the place did not admit of any traffic of 
consequence, the time was spent in festive mirth and vulgar amuse- 
ments. These fairs still retain the ancient name of wakes in 
many parts of the kingdom. 

These wakes or anniversaries of the saint to whom the church 
was dedicated, and the fairs which originated from them, were 
held in the churchyards and occasionally in [churches, by which 
it became a matter of complaint that « Goddes house was made a 
tavern of Gluttons." The terms Scot ales and Give ales were 
occasionally used synonymously, but, generally speaking, there was 
a distinction between thenL Scot ala were maintained by joint 
contributions. Thus the tenants of South Mailing, in Sussex, 
which bdonged to the Archbishop of Canterbury, were, at the 
keeping of a court, to entertain the lord or his bailiff with a 
drinking, or an ale, and the stated quotas towards the charge were, 
that a man should pay three pence halQ)enny for himself and his 

Church Ales and Observances. 89 

wife, and a widow and a cottager three halfpence. And in the 
manor of Terring, in the same county, and under the same juris- 
diction, it was the custom for the tenants named to make a uatale 
of sixteen pence halfpenny, and to allow out of each sixpence 
three halfpence to find drink for the bailiff. 

Common scotales in taverns, at which the clergy were not to 
be pretnt, are noticed in seyeral ecclesiastical canons. They 
were not to be published in the church by the clergy or the 
laity; and a meeting of more than ten persons of the same parish 
or vicinage was a scotale that was in general prohibited. There 
were alto common drinkings, in the mentioning of which the 
prefix ted was omitted, and instead of it was inserted a word 
which denoted the special puqxMe which occasioned the compota- 
tion. Leet'ole^ bride^aie^ cltrk^aU^ church^e^ are instances in 
point To a leet-ale it is likely all the residents in a manorial 
district were contributors ; and the expense of a bride-*ale was 
probably defrayed by the relations and friends of a happy pair, 
who were not in circumstances to bear the charges of a wedding- 
dinner. The derk's-ale was in the Easter holidays, and was the 
method taken to enable clerks of parishes to collect more readily 
their dues, or, as it is expressed in Aubrey's MS. ^ History of 
Wilts," as cited by Mr. Warton in his << History of English 
Poetry," ** it was for the clerk's private benefit and the sobce of 
the neighbourhood" 

Mr. Warton has likewise copied from the Dodsworth MS. the 
following extract from an old indenture made before the Refor- 
mation, which shows the design of a church-ale :—^ The 
parishioners of Elveston and Okebrook, in Derbyshire, agree 
jointly to brew four ales, and vitxy ale of one quarter of roaltt 
betwixt this and the feast of St. John the Baptist next coming. 
And that every inhabitant of the said town of Okebrook shall 
be at the several ales. And titrf husband and his wife 
shall pay two pence, every cottager one penny; and all the 
mhabitants of Elveston shall have and receive all the profits and 
advantages coming of the said ales to the use and behoof of the 
said church of Elveston. And the inhabitants of Elveston shall 
brew eight ales betwixt this and the feast of St. John the Baptist, 

90 In Praise of Ale, 

at which ales the inhabitants of Okebrook shall come and pay as 
before rehearaedL And if he be away at one ale, to pay at 
other ale for both,'' &c. 

The different ales above specified were, as I have already re- 
markedy supported by joint contributions, and most of them, in a 
greater or less degree, compulsory. But thegrvcaUs, which I ha?e 
principally in view, were the legacies of individuals, and from 
that circumstance entirely gratuitous; though some of them 
might be in addition to a common giveale before established in 
the parish. 

If an adequate judgment can be formed from Stowell's <* Ex- 
tracts of Wills," entered in the Register's office of the diocese of 
Rochester, testamentary giveales must have been very numerous 
in England. In several clauses the word occurs ; but when the 
bequest was of malt or of barley, the use to which it is to be con- 
verted is obvious. 

A dole of bread with, now and then, a small quantity of cheese 
and other corrodUs^ is also mentioned in the same bequest. 
Charity was suggested as a pretence for collecting some of the 
scotales ; but, in the testamentary giveales, the distribution of 
them to the poor was frequently enjoined, though from the large- 
nets of the quantity brewed it must have been intended that neigh- 
bours, who were not of the indigent class, should participate in 

The most luxurious treat of the kind, recorded in Stowell's 
** Extracts," was at East Greenwich, pursuant to the will of John 
Champuis, who bequeathed '' three shillings in bread, two shillings 
in ^ice-bread, a barrel of ale, a gallon of malmesey, two pounds of 
comfitts, and twenty pence in cheese, six shillings and eight pence 
in wood and cole, six shillings and eight pence in money, and 
twenty pence to the Vicar, and wardens to see it donn for 
ever.'' That the poor had the spice-bread, comfits, and Malmsey 
wine is not so probable a surmise, as that the wardens and their 
friends were regaled with this choice fare. 

Giveales differ likewise materially from the conmion scotales in 
their having been so much blended with notions and practices of 
a superstitious tendency, for the bequests were frequently to the 

Church Ales and Observances. 9 1 

light, or altar of a taint, with directions for singing of masses at 
the obit, trentaly or anniyersary of the death of the testator. Lands 
were settled for the perpetual payment of the legacies so appro- 
priated, and in consequence became Tested in the Crown by the 
statute of I Edward VI., which will account for iu now being 
▼ery difficult to trace the lands infeoffed, and for the general dis- 
continuance of the giveales, which were to be supported by the 
profits of them. The parish of St. John Baptist, in the Isle of 
Tenet, is, howerer, possessed of upwards of fifteen acres of land, 
aojuiied by a legacy bequeathed for a giveale by Etheldred 
Barrow, in the year 1513, there not having been any directions 
for the performance of masses. Mr. Lewis has not mentioned the 
special use to which the rent of this land is applied, but from the 
manner of writing, it may be inferred, that there is not every year 
on St. James's Day a " distribution of a quarter of malt, and six 
bnshek of wheat and vitell according thereto,'' notwithstanding the 
testator willed that such a ''yearly yervale should be main- 
ttfotd while the world endureth." 

Scotales were generally kept in houses of public resort, but the 
ale at giveales was first dispensed, if not in the church (which, 
however, sometimes happened), yet in the churchyard ; and had 
not this mode been adopted of inducing persons to assist at the 
celebration of private masses, and to repeat Ave Marias and 
Pater Nosters for the health of the founders and their relatives, 
a principal design of the institution of them would probably have 
been frustrated. The founders evidently had the idea of maldng 
the best of both worlds. 

Evidently, then, is it, that a man in high glee over <* a stoup of 
strong liquor " was not in former days an unusual sight within 
the precincts of a church ; unquestionably not, as I apprehend, in 
Chalk churchyard, William May, of that parish, having provided 
a copious giveale for a very snaall district which had very few 
inhabitants. In his will, which was dated the 24th of May 
I $12, are some memorable items concerning his funeral which 
were not minuted by Stowell. To every godchild he had within 
the county of Kent, or elsewhere, he gave six bushels of barley; 
and he directed, if four of these children were able, they should 

92 In Praise of Ale. 

bear him to the charch, and vterj of them have lixpeDce for 
his labour. He further willed that his executors should buy two 
new torches against his burial for x sh.* that four poor men 
should be paid twopence apiece for bearing these torches, and 
that the three men who should sing at his burial should have for 
their labour threepence apiece, and as much at his month's 
mynd. To the highth altar he bequeathed twenty-pence, 
and he willed that an honest preste should synge for his soull and 
his firiends, as shortly as he may be goten, half a yere, and have 
for his labour five marices. He willed at his burial there should 
be thirteen prestes, and every preste to have then, and also at his 
month's mynd, sixpence for his labor. He likewise willed that 
his wife make every year for his soull an obit, and to make in 
bread six bushels of wheat, and in drink ten bushels of mault, and 
in cheese twenty-pence, to give to poor people for the health of 
his soull ; and he ordered that after the decease of his wife his 
executors and feoflees should continue the olnt before rehearsed 
for evermore. 

Giveales on obsequies, as well as on the anniversaries of the 
dedication of churches, were in other respects merrymakings, at 
which there was a free, perhaps a licentious, indulgence in the 
games and sports of the times ; though playing with the ball, 
singing of ballads, dissolute dances, and ludicrous spectacles in 
churches and churchyards, subjected the frequenters of them to 
pecuniary penalties and ecclesiastical censures, excoimnunications 
not excepted. 

I have been indebted for a great deal of the foregomg to a 
learned writer m the ** Archseologia," vol. 12. Our ancestors had 
few resources and amusements, and it is not to be wondered at if 
they extended the strict license of sobriety, especially when the 
lower order of the clergy gave them every encouragement to do 
so. From Heniy we learn that the secular clei^ were no 
enemies to the pleasure of the table ; and some of them contrived 
to convert gluttony and drunkenness into religious ceremonies, by 
the celebration of gluttony-masses, as they very properly called 
them. These gluttony-masses were celebrated five times a year, 
in honour of the Virgin Mary, in this manner. Early in the 

Church Ales and Observances. 93 

rooming the people of the parish assembled in the diarchy loaded 
with ample stores of meats and drinks of all kinds. As soon as 
mass ended the feast began, in which the clergy and laity engaged 
with equal ardour. The church was turned into a tavem, and 
became a scene of excessive riot and intemperance. The priests 
and people of different parishes entered into formal contests 
which of them should have the greatest gluttony-mass» Le^ which 
of them diould devour the greatest quantities of meat and drink 
in hoDonr of the Holy Virgin. 

It must be remembered that in Anglo-Saxon times, hospi- 
tality was the rule, and monasteries, in those times, were a kind 
of public-houses, where travellers and strangers of all ranks were 
lodged and entertained. In the Abbey of Aberi>n>thick, about 
nine thousand bushels of malt seem to have been annually ex- 
pended in ale. Chaucer, in the ^ Ploughman's Tale," reproves 
the priests because they were more attentive to the practice of 
secular pastimes than to the administration of their holy functions, 
saying diey were expert 

*' At the wrestlynge and at the wake. 
And chefe chauntours at the nale, 
Markette beaters, and medlyng make, 

Hoppen and houters with heve and hale." 

That the customs of keeping up church and other ales became 
greatly abused, there can be no question ; and some attempts were 
made from time to time to restrict them. In the Records of the 
Court-Leet for the Manor of Manchester, 1 552-1680, we find 
it enacted that no guest at a wedding (bride-ale) should pay for 
his dinner more than fourpence. The wise men of the town had 
good reason to know that wedding feasts whereat the guests 
were compelled by social custom to be present, had become a 
heavy tax on the community. 

Probably the most peculiar of the many quaint customs which 
our ancestors kept up was the funeral one of sin eating. In a 
letter dated 171 5^ printed in Leiand's Collection, it is stated 
that, within the memory of the writer's father, in those villages 
adjoining Wales, when a person died notice was given to an old 

94 J^ Praise of Ale, 

**mK" or village patriarchy who straightway repaired to the 
house of mourning and sat down on a ** cricket," or stool, facing 
the door ; then one of the family of the deceased gave the sm- 
eacer a groat, which he put in his pocket, a crust of bread which 
he ate, and a full bowl of ale which he drank off at a draught. 
Finally, he rose from the cricket, and with a composed gesture 
pronounced *' the ease and rest of the soul departed, for which 
he would pawn his own soul/' In Hereford, accordmg to 
Aubrey, the sb-eater ate his bread and drank his bowl of beer 
over the corpse, and his fee was sixpence instead of fburpence. 
Bishop Kennett, to whom Aubrey's manuscripts passed, added to 
them a note that a remainder of this custom lingered at the be- 
ginning of the eighteenth century in the parish of Amersham, in 
the county of Bucks. There, at the burial of every corpse, a 
cake and a flagon of ale were brought to the clergyman in the 
porch ; but this refecdon was not served until after the interment. 
Inconstancy in love has prevailed time out of mind, but it is sads- 
&ctory to find that retribution overtook Roger as surely as it did 
Imogene the fidr at the wedding feast, even though it were a 
" bidden wedding." Roger has deserted his first love, whom he 
left in a delicate condition, fell in with and married the widow 
of a well-to-do butcher. 

** From church the fond couple adjourn to the Crown ; 

The company drink, laugh, and sing; * 
The bacon and greens they go merrily down, 
And the mugs were all frothing with liquor so brown, 

When the bell of the ale-house went ting.** 

All went merry as a marriage bell, until a dpstafF arrived. 

^ Full stout were his limbs, and full tall was his height; 

His boots were all dirty to view, 
Which made all the damsels draw back in a fright 
Lest by chance they should sully their petdcoats white, 

And poor Roger began to look blue." 

In the upshot the vicum was taken away, and 

Church Ales and Observances. 95 

** Four tinics in each year, when, in judgment profound. 

The quorom all doze on the bench, 
Is Roger brought up, and u forced to be bound. 
With a friend, in the sum of at least forty pound, 

To provide for the child and the wench. 

** The churchwardens sit round, for the treat they don't pay, 

Their cares all with 'bacco beguil'd ; 
They drink out of mugs newly formed of bak'd clay; 
Their liquor is ale, and this whimsical lay 
They sing : •« Here's a health to fair Peggy the gay. 

And the false Roger Gray and his child." 

We quote from the foregoing parody, as it shows how prevalent 
the custom was to have an open feast to all comen on the occa- 
sion of ^ a bride ale " or '' bidden wedding." In return, how- 
ever, for the hospitality the guests were expected to leave a 
tangible present behind them. 

Cumberland and Westmoreland were Bmious for these bidden 
weddings. In the course of time, enterprising publicans took the 
organising of these public weddings in hand, and hence they came 
to be known as <' penny weddings." After defraying the cost of 
the feast from the contributions of the guests, the profits were 
handed over to the newly-wedded couple as a nucleus towards 

In the Records of Hales Owen, an enactment is made against 
excesses in the brewing of bride ale in contradistinction to 
*< church ale," or the *<bid ale," which was got up for the 
benefit of an unsuccessful tradesman. 

** Itemy a payne is made that no person or persons that shall 
brewe any wedding ale to sell, shall not brewe above twelve strike 
of mault at the most, and that the said persons so married shall 
not keep nor have above eight messe of persons at his dinner 
within the burrowe ; and before his brydall day he shall keepe no 
unlawful games in hys house nor out of his house, on psin of 20 

The well-to-do people, however, were above sending the hat 

96 In Praise of Ale. 

round, and upped the beer barrels freely to all who choae to 
come. Cumberland was famous for the hospitality of these bidden 
weddings. Here is the form of invitation to one, taken firom the 
" European Magazine/' of July 1 789 : — 

BmDEN Wedding. 

Suspend for one day your cares and your labours. 

And come to this wedding, kind friends and good neighbours. 

Notice is hereby given that the marriage of Isaac Pearson 
with Frances Atkinson will be solemnized in due form in the 
Parish Church of Lamplugh, Cumberland, on Tuesday next, the 
30th May, inst., after which the bride and bridegroom, with their 
attendants, will procede to Lonefoot, in the same parish, where 
the nuptials will be celebrated by a variety of rural entertamments. 

Then come one and all. 
At Hymen's soft call. 

From Whitehaven, Workington, Harrington, Dean, 
Hail Ponsonby, Blaing, and all places between; 
From Egremont, Cockermouth, Parton, St. Bees, 
Cint, Kinnyside, Cimder, and parts joining these. 
And the country at large may flock in if they please. 
Such sports there will be as have seldom been seen. 
Such wrestling, and fencing, and dancing between. 
By horses, and asses, and dogs will be run, 
Thsx you'll go home happy, as sure as a gun. 
In a word, such a wedcting can ne'er &il to please, 
For the sports of Olympus were trifles to these. 
Nota bene : you'll be pleased to observe that the day 
Of this grand bridal pomp is the thirtieth of May, 
When 'tis hoped that the sun, to enliven the sight. 
Like the flambeau of Hymen vnll deign to bum bright 

Hone transcribes a somewhat different account of the Whitsun 
ales from the foregoing, and this is worth printing as a comple- 
ment IVhitifm ale* were derived from the Agape^ or love-feasts 

Church Ales and Observances. 97 

of the early Chrisdansy and were so denominated from the 
churchwardens' buying, and laying in firom presents also, a large 
quantity of malt, which they brewed into beer, and sold out in 
the church or elsewhere. The profits, as well as those from 
sundry games, there being no poor-rates, were given to the poor, 
for whom this was one mode of provision, according to the 
Christian rule that all festivities should be rendered innocent 
by alms. Aubrey thus describes a Whitsun ale: <'In every 
parish was a church-house, to which belonged spits, crocks, and 
other utensils for dresnng provisions. Here the housekeepers 
met. The young people were there too, and had dancing, bowl- 
ing, diooting at butts, &c., the ancients sitting gravely by and 
looking on." It seems, too, that a tree was erected by the 
church door, where a banner was placed, and maidens stood 
gathering contributions. An arbour, called Robin Hood's Bower, 
was also put up in the churchyard. In more modem times the 
Whitsun ale consisted of a lord and lady of the ale, a steward, 
swo d-bearer, purse-bearer, mace-bearer, train-bearer or page, fool, 
and pipe and tabor man, with a company of young men and women, 
who dance in a bam. 

Girey, in his topographical History of Cornwall, shows how 
these feasts were got up and kept up. *' For the ebureb ale^ two 
young men are yerely chosen by their last foregoers to be wardens, 
who, dividing the task, make collection among the parishioners, 
of whatsoever provision it pleaseth them voluntarily to bestow. 
This they employ in brewing, baking, and other acates, against 
Whitsuntide, upon which holidays the neighbours meet at the 
church house, and there merily feed on their owne victuals^ each 
contributing some petty portion to the stock, which, by many 
smalls, groweth to a meetly greatness ; for there is entertayned a 
kind of emulation between these wardens, who, by his gracious- 
oess in gathering, and good husbandry in expending, can best 
advance the churche's profit. Besides, the neighbour parishes at 
those times loving visit one another, and frankly spend their 
money together. The aftemoons are consumed in such exercises 
as olde and yonge folk (having leysure) doe accustomably weare 
out the time withall. When the feast is ended, the wardens 

98 In Praise of Ale, 

yeeld in their accounts to ]>ari8hioners ; and such money as 
exceedeth the disbursement is layed up in storey to defray any 
extiaofxiinary charges arising in the parish, or imposed on them 
for the good of the countrey or the prince's service; neither of 
which commonly gripe so much, but that somewhat stil remayneth 
to cover the purse's bottom." 

Aubrey, in his History of Wiltshire, says: — "There were no 
rates for the poor in my grandfiither's days; but for Kingston St. 
Michael (no small parish) the church ale of Whitsuntide did the 
business. In every parish is (or was) a church house to which 
belonged spits, crocks, &c., utensils for dressing provision. Here 
the housekeepers met and were merry, and gave their charity. 
The young people were there too, and had dancing, bowling, 
shooting at butts, &c., the ancients sitting gravely by and looking 
on. All thugs were civil, and without scandal." 

Douce gives an account of the manner in which these feasts 
were conducted: — *< At present the Whitsnn ales are conducted 
in the following manner. Two persons are chosen, previously to 
the HMeting, to be lord and lady of the ale, who dress as suitably 
as they can to the characters they assume. A large empty bam 
or some such building is provided for the lord's hall, and fitted up 
with seats to accommodate the company. Here they assemble 
to dance and regale in the best manner their circumstances and 
the place will afford; and each young fellow treats the girl with 
a riband or favour. The lord and lady honour the hall with 
their presence, attended by the steward, sword-bearer, purse- 
bearer, and mace-bearer, with their several badges or ensigns of 
office. They have likewise a train-bearer, or page, and a fool or 
jester, drest in a party-coloured jacket, whose ribaldry and gesticu- 
lation contribute not a little to the entertainment of some part of the 
company. The lord's music, consisting of a pipe and tabor, is 
employed to conduct the dance. Some people think this custom 
is a commenooration of the ancient Drink-lean, a day of festivity, 
formerly observed by the tenants and vassals of the lord of the fee 
within his manor, the memory of which, on account of the jollity 
of those meetings, the people have thus preserved ever since. 
The glossaries inform us that this Drink-lean was a contribution 

Church Ales and Observances, 99 

of tenants towards a potation or ale, provided to entertain the lord 
or his steward." 

** Strephon, with leavy twigs of laurel tree, 
A garland made, on temples for to weare, 
For he then chosen was the dignitie 

Of village lord, that Whitsuntide, to beare." 

The churchwardens were not slow to perceive that these feasts 
could be made into a permanent source of income. They 
observed that the wakes were more popular than any other 
holidays, and rightly conceived that by establishing other institu- 
tions similar to them they might draw together a large company 
of people, and annually collect from them, gratuitously as it were, 
such sums of money for the suppoit and repair of the church, 
as would be a great easement to the parish rates. By way of 
enticement to the populace, they brewed a certain portion of 
strong ale, to be ready on the day appointed for the festival, which 
they sold to them ; and most of the better sort, in addition to what 
they paid for their drink, contributed something towards the 
collection ; but in some instances the inhabitants of one or more 
parishes were mulcted in a certain sum according to mutual 
agreement, as we find by an ancient stipulation (Dodsworth's 
MSS. *^ Bid. Bob.," vol. 148, fol. 97) couched in the following 
terms: — ** The parishioners of Elvertoon and those of Okebrook, 
in Derbyshire, agree jointly to brew four ales, and every ale of 
one quarter of malt, between this (that is, the time when the 
contract was made) and the feast of St. John the Baptist next 
conuning, and every inhabiunt of the said town of Okebrook 
shall be at the several ales, and every husband and his wife shall 
pay two pence, and every cottager one penny. And the in- 
habitants of Elverton shall have and receive all the profits 
conuning of the said ales, to the use and behoof of the church of 
Elverton ; and the inhabitants of Elverton shall brew eight ales 
betwixt this and the feast of St. John, at which ales the 
inhabiunu of Okebrook shall come and pay as before rehearsed : 
and if any be away at one ale, he is to pay at t' oder ale for 

o 2 

I oo In Praise of Ale. 

Id the olden days there was a reference about these feasts 
which kept them pure; and Shakespeare makes an .appropriate 
allusion to these feasts — 

^ Which have been sung at festivals 
On ember eves and holy eves." 

In coarse of time the coarseness of the glutton masses tended 
to pervert the innocent feasts, which partook originally of the 
nature of a pic-nic, into a drunken bout ; and moralists and the 
higher order of clergy denounced them in no measured terms. 
Wither, in i6i8» denounced the Hock-tide and church-ale 
hypocrites of his day in good set terms: — 

^ Who think forsooth because that once a yeere 
They can afford the poor some slender cheer. 
Observe their country feasts, or common doles, 
And entertain their Christmass wassaile boles, 
Or else because that for the churches' good, 
They in defence of Hock-tide custom stood : 
A Whitsun ale, or some such goodly notion. 
The better to procure young men's devotion : 
What will they do, I say, that think to please 
Their mighty God with such good things as these? 
Sure very ill." 

The observance of Hock Tuesday has long been obsolete, 
though it was kept up at Coventry in Spilman's time, 1641, with 
great vigour ; and the custom was universally kept up in Shake- 
speare's time. 

Philip Stubbs, the Puritan, at a still earlier date, denounced 
the church-ales in his ** Anatomie of Abuses," 1585: — ^**In 
certaine townes, where dronken Bacchus beares swaie, against 
Whitsondaie the churchewardens of every parishe, with the 
consent of the whole paruhe^ provide halfe a score or twentie 
quarters of maulte, whereof some they buy of the churche stocke, 
and some is given them of the parishioners themselves, every one 
conferring somewhat according to his abilitie, whiche maulte being 
made into very strong ale or here, is sette to sale, either in the 
church or some other place assigned to that purpose. Then 

Church Ales and Observances, loi 

when this is set abroche, well is he that cao gete the soonest to it, 
and spend the most at it." 

Launce has a slight sneer at the observances : — " Because 
thou hast not so much charity in thee to go to an ale-house with 
a Christian, wilt thou go ?" — Two GenlUmen, 

The Archbishop of York denounced these customs at a com- 
paratively early period, a.d. 1 363 : — ** Whereas some, being 
turned to a reprobate sense, meet in churches on the vigils of 
saints, and offend very grievously against God and his saints, 
whom they pretend to venerate, by minding hurtful plays and 
vanities, ^and sometimes what is worse; and in the exequies of the 
dead turn the house of mourning and prayer into the house of 
laughter and excess, to the great peril of their own souls, 
we strictly forbid any that come to such vigils and exequies, 
especially in churches, to exercise in any way such plays and un- 
cleannesses. And we strictly enjoin all rectors, &c., that they 
forbid and restrain all such insolencies and excesses from being 
committed in their churches and churchyards by the sentence of 
suspension and excommunication according to the canon," &c. — 
Johnson's *< Collection." 

The Bishop of Winchester followed with a mandate, by which 
he forbids ballad-singing, the exhibiting of shows, and other pro- 
fanations in the churchyard, on pain of excommunication. 

For a long time, however, the ordinances of the few, being 
against the customs of the many, especially when the worshippers at 
a glutton mass had such earnest ministers as the Holy Clerk of 
Copmanhurst, the friar of Orders Grey, and other priests of 
that type, they could readily condone any excess, in which they 
themselves joined. This type of cleric has often been described 
in prose and poetry. 

The Jovial Fmars. 

Words by William Jones. Music by G. Herbert RodweU. 
Published by B. Williams, 1 1, Paternoster Row. 

By the river's side, where the woods stretch'd wide, 
The monks would lazily rest. 

1 02 In Praise of Ale. 

And many a deer would enliyen their cheer, 
And help to feather their nest. 
And help to feather their nest. 

But blyther friars, for whom our sires 
Had always a trencher, a trencher laid, 
Ajsd a cheerful glass as on they would pass, 
Which a song or a shrive repaid. 
Which a song or a shriye repaid. 

And merrier were they as they jogg'd on their way, 

Than the monk who doz'd in his cloisters grey ; 

With an ave meet the firiar would greet 

The traveller homeward bound. 

And return with him as the eve grew dim, 

Where a pasty or flitch be found. 

Where a pasty or flitch be found. 

The flagon of ale would prove the tale. 
Of many a frolicksome, frolicksome deed; 
And hearty he quaif'd, and gaily he laugh'd. 
When they bade him at mom God speed, 
When they bade him at mom God speed. 

And merrier were they, as they jogg'd on their way, 
Than the monk who dozed in his cloisters grey. 
Than the monk who dozed in his cloisters grey. 

Who knew not the friar with visage of fire, 

And eyes that would twinkle bright. 

Like the sun's broad beam on a slumb'ring stream, 

Or stars in a frosty night ! 

With a wanton air, that cast away care, 

And lips ever smiling bland. 

At revel and feast, the friar at least 

Was the jolliest in the land! 

And merrier were they, as they jogged on their way, 
Than the monk who dozed in his cloisters grey. 

Church Jles and Observances. 1 03 

The Friar. 

A jolly fdX friar lov'd liquor good store. 

And he had drank stoutly at supper; 
He mounted his horse in the night at the door. 

And sat with his face to the crupper. 
Some rogue, quoth the friar, quite dead to remorse, 

Some thief, whom a halter will throttle. 
Some scoundrel has cut off the head of my horse. 

While I was engaged with the bottle. 

Which went gluggity, gluggity, glug. 

The tail of his steed pointed south on the vale, 

Twas the friar's road home, straight and level, 
But when spur'd, a horse follows his nose, not his tail. 

So he scamper'd due north like the devil. 
This new mode of docking, the ht friar said, 

I perceive does not make a horse trot ill ; 
And 'tis cheap, for he never can eat off his head. 

While I am engag'd with the bottle. 

Which goes gluggity,j&c. 

The steed made a stop, in the pond he had got. 

He was rather for drinking than grazing ; 
Quoth the friar, 'Tis strange headless horses should trot, 

But to drink with their tails is amazing. 
Turning round to find whence this phenomenon rose. 

In the pond fell this son of the bottle; 
Quoth he, The head's found, for I'm under his nose; 

I wish I was over the bottle! 

Which goes gluggity, 5cc. 

The Clerk of Copmanhurst, otherwise Friar Tuck, trolled out 
to King Richard I. an account of his good works : — 

The Bare-footed Friar. 

I'll give thee, good fellow, a twelvemonth or twain, 
To search Europe through fix>m Byzantium to Spain ; 

I04 In Praise of Ale, 

Bat ne'er shall yoa* find, should you search till you tire. 
So happy a man as the bare-footed friar. 

Your knight for his lady pricks forth in career, 

And is brought home at evensong pnck*d through with a spear ; 

I confess him in haste — for my lady desires 

No comfort on earth save the bare-footed friar's. 

Your monarch ? Pshaw ! many a prince has been known 

To barter his robes for our cowl and our gown, 

But which of us e'er felt the idle desiie 

To exchange for n crown the gray hood of a friar! 

The friar has walked out, and where'er he has gone 
The land and its fatness is marked for his own ; 
He can roam where he lists, he can stop when he tires. 
For every man's house is the bare- footed friar's. 

He's expected at noon, and no wight till he comes 
May pro£ine the great chair, or the porridge of plums ; 
For the best of the chtfer, and the seat by the fire. 
Is the undenied right of the bare-footed friar. 

He's expected at night, and the pasty's made hot. 
They broach the brown ale, and they fill the Uack pot, 
And the good-wife would wish the good-man in the mire, 
Ere he lack'd a soft pillow the bare-footed friar. 

Long flourish the sandal, the cord, and the cope, 
The dread of the devil and trust of the pope; 
For to gather life's roses, unscathed by the briar, 
Is granted alone to the bare-footed friar. 

Scott, in a footnote, says the holy clerk chanted this lay to a 
sort of derry-down chorus, and that it may be proper to state that 
this chorus is supposed to be as ancient, not only as the Heptarchy, 
but up to the times of the Druids, and to have furnished the 

Church Ales and Observances, 105 

chorus to the hynuM of those venerable persons when they went 
to the wood to gather. The chorus has certainly descended to 
our own times as an accompaniment to rural ballads. Equally 
popular, also, were the refhins, **Down, down, down, deny- 
down," and ** Which nobody can deny." 

Coming nearer to our own time, our clerical grandfathers had 
the reputation of being able to do their share on festive occasions. 
The song of " The Vicar and Moses " is a coarse, and doubtless 
grossly exaggerated, atuck on the drinking habits of a former 
generation of the clergy of the Established Church, as it bears the 
impress of untruth on the face of it, and is, moreover, written in 
Colman's v^rst possible taste. Two stanzas will be sufficient : — 

" At the sign of the Horse old Spintext, of course. 
Each night took his pipe and his pot; 
O'er a jorum of nappy, quite pleasant and happy, 
Was placed this canonical sot. 

Tol lol de rol lol," &c. 

Then the clerk came to ask the vicar to bury a child at midnight, 
whereon the cleric called to the landlord — 

** Bring Moses some beer, and me some — d'ye hear, 
I hate to be called from my liquor; 
Come, Moses, ' The king ! ' what a scandalous thing 
Such a subject should be but a vicar. 

Tol lol de rol lol, &c. 

At length hat and cloak old Orthodox took, 
But first cramm'd his jaw with a quid ; 

Each tipt off a gill, for fear they should chill. 
And then stagger'd away side by side. 

Tol lol de rol lol," &c. 

When the clergy indulged so freely, what could be expected 
of the laity ? 

Apart from the current contributions which were collected on 
behalf of the Whitsun or other ales, innumerable bequests for the 

ro6 //; Praise of J le. 

puqxMe existed io nearly all parts of the kingdom. 1 have ex- 
tracted a few out of many ; and these bequests existed in all parts 
of the country : — 

William Hammond, of St. Mary's in Hoo, by his vnll 
directed ** bis feoffees and executors see that the yeovale of St. 
James be kept for ever, as it hath bin hereaforetime." — StowelPs 
extracts of gifts to charitable uses, from wills in the Registry of 
the diocese of Rochester, printed in *< Thorpe's Antiquities," page 
41. ''Hoo. Test., Thomas Beadle, of Gerall house, lying at 
Grenehill, prout wardens and the brethren of the GevalL" 

John Devell also willed, *' that the geavale of Alhallows in 
Hoo, have one acre of land after my wife's decease to maintain it 
withal, called Pilchland, and that to be done after the olde custom 
of olde time." Ibid., p. 46. 

^ Jo. Bromley, subtrahit de la gifeale xviiis. a lumine beatae 
Mariae apud Woldham." — Acu Archid. Rossen, 1524. Sept. 
28, ioL 73, a. 

•* Thomas Gate et Rogerus Gilwyn, visit, apud Woldliam. — 
Habeot ad proband, quod Johannes Beauley, gen. subtraxit de la 
Gif Ale continuat usque diem Jovis in vigil S. Catherine ; quo die 
companut Joh. Beauley, et quoad de la Gif Ale dicit, quod obtulit 
parocbianis iiii. quarter brasei pret. Angl. quater vis. viid. et quod 
omnino recusabant." 

John Holman. << Item, volo, &c., unam acram terrx, imper- 
petttom — inveniend. inde annuatim de proventibus duos bushel 
< brasei, et unum bushel ' frumenti pro quodam giveale paroch < de 
Snodland in festo purifie.' " 

PsTti Sampson. **Al8o I will that Harrie Compton have 1 
acr* et dim. land, to the intent that he keep a yevale every other 
year on the feast of St. Michael, at every time to be dispensed vi. 
bushel of wheate bread, and x. bushel of mault in ale," &c. 

Tho. Tomys. ** I will and give that Joane my daughter shall 
have house and land, with condition, that she, or else some other 
in her name, keep or doe a ycvall upon St. James's day, and to 
this yevall I bind this land whoever have it without end." 

Steph. Sfrare. <* Alsoe I will, that Alice my wife shall have 
my house and land, and marsh, doeing yearely the charge of a 
yeveale at Alballon tide for evermore." 

Church Ales and Observances. 107 

Stephen Jicob. <* I will that my heires shall have five yards 
of land ]3ring in Longfield, and ^vt yards in Pettefield, upon 
condition that they make a yerely geveall on Trinity Sunday of 5 
bushels of wheat, and i seame of barley, and xiid. in cheese.'' 

Jambs Williams. <* xiiis. iiiid. for ever. The churchwardens 
and 4 or 6 of the parishioners to be infeofed in lands to the use 
of his will" 

Thomas Love. *'To his heirs male for evermore, to this 
intent, to keepe and roainuyne in the church of Cowling to the 
value of 4 bushel of wheat and 4 bushel of mault, and xvid. in 
cheese or fish," &c. 

Rob. Qvirbull. ^ I will that a state be made by my feoffees 
of and in all my lands in Cowling, to twelve or more persons, 
as the wardens and parishioners of Clive will name, under con- 
dition that the said wardens shall employ for ever all the said 
lands and tenements, to doe an obit in Clive church, and as much 
bread as will be made of three bushels of wheat, as much ale of 4 
bushels of mault, in cheese xxd. for ever," &c. 

Will. Hawke. ** I bequeath to John Hawke, my brother, 
xiii. acres of land, and to his heirs for ever, with this condition, 
that the said John holde and keepe, or make to keepe yearly, in 
the church of Shorne, an obit yearly, &c. And I will be there 
spent in bread 4 bushels of wheat, and a quarter of mault in 
drink," &c. 

JoH. WiNWAY. ** First, I will that A., my wife, have my 
house for terme of her life, and she to keep an obit every yeere, 
and to be spent in bread a bushel of wheat, and in ale a bushel of 
malt," 5cc. 

JoH. Hawu. '* I will that an obit be kept yearly in the parish 
church of Shorne on Relicke Sunday, by the heir of the time 
being of my land, a quarterr of mault, 5cr., and half a quarter of 
wheat, for ever." 

JoH. Hamond. ^ Item, I will that always be kept an obit once a 
year in Lent, of a quarter of wheat and a quarter of nudt, from 
heir to heir, for evermore, out of lands in Oysterland borowe." 

Rich. FaANCis. "An obit every Passion Sunday for ever of 6 
bushel of wheat, and 6 bushel of mault." 

io8 In Praise of Ale. 

Jans Smith. ^' A yearly obit on Monday next after Mid«lent 
Sunday, ?iud. to the vicar, to the clerk ivd., two bushels of 
wheat for bread, and peas, and lOO of white herrings, and half a 
seame of mault, to be brewed yearly; the bread, peas, &c, to be 
delt in Sl Mai^aret's church, to poor people that will come to 

EowiKD PnATT. ** I will that my executors shall receive and 
take the profits of the land I have hired of John Love, of Hal- 
stow, bir the vpace of nine years, and they to give yearly during 
the said term, 9 bushel of wheat in bread, and 10 bushel of mault 
in drinky on Mid lent Sunday, in the church of Hoo.'' 

The most singular bequest perhaps is that of the Biddenden 
Maids, who bequeathed their name to the peculiar form of twin figure 
gingerbread cakes, which I remember as a child. The afternoon 
of Easter Sunday a quantity of small flat cakes, made only of flour 
and water, and impressed with figures of two women, united at the 
side after the fashion of the Siamese twins, is distributed in the 
church porch to all comers. Bread and cheese, to a considerable 
amount, are given at the same time to the poorer parishioners. This, 
says tnKiition, was the legacy of twin sisters, called the Biddenden 
Maids, who lived for many years united in their bodies after the 
manner represented m the cakes, and then died within a few 
hours of each other. There is also given to the recipients of the 
cakes a printed paper, bearing upon it a representation of the im- 
pression on the cakes, and purporting to contain ** a short and 
concise account of Elisa and Mary Chulkhurst, who were bom 
joined together by the hips and shoulders, in the year of our Lord 
1 100, at Biddenden, in the county of Kent, commonly called the 
' Biddenden Maids.' '' They lived together in the above state, 
and when one of them died, the surviving one was advised to be 
sepanted from the body of her deceased sister; but she absolutely 
refused, saying, ^ As we came together we will also go together." 
By their will, they bequeathed to the churchwarden of the parish 
of Biddenden, and his successors for ever, certain pieces or 
parcels of land in the parish of Biddenden, containing twenty 
acres, more or less, which now let at forty guineas. There are 
usually made, in commemoration of these wonderful phenomena 

Church Ales and Observances. 109 

of nature, about 1000 rolls, with their impressions printed on 
theiDy and given away to all strangers on Easter Sunday, after 
divine service in the afternoon ; also about 500 quartern loaves, 
and cheese in proportion, to all the poor inhabitants, of the said 

A contributor to Notes and Queries^ Mr. William Spooner, 
wrote, in 1856 — << There was a large barrel of ale stood in the 
High Street of Hoddesdon, Heiu; with an iron pot chained to 
a post, for any passer by to drink. It was the bequest of a 
brewer in the town, named Christian Catherow. Some time after 
his decease, it was a cask of good ale, then it got to table beer, 
and, at last, done away with altogether, now (1856) about fifteen 
years, from what cause I cannot say." 

Mr. John G. Morton, in 1856, writing to the same journal, 
shows that at Rickmansworth the authorities attended to the 
wishes of a testator. 

The direction to keep a cask of ale on the public road for the 
free use of all travellers is still attended to at Rickmansworth 
(1856). The cask is placed every morning at the foot of the 
hill leading out of that town on the road to Watford. 

I have taken the next fix>m an old magazine:— ''One of the 
oddest of bequests is the following: Two women left several 
acres of land to Paddington Church, in commemoration of a par« 
ticular charity by which they had once been relieved when in 
distress. Every year bread and cheese were to be thrown out of 
the church steeple, and ale was to be distributed among the ^)ecta- 
tors. The peiformance of the ceremony is noticed in one of the 
London papen of 17 40." 

A correspondent to Hone's Every-Day Booi, recorded that 
** Stourbridge fair was annually set out on St. Bartholomew's 
Day by the aldermen and the rest of the corporation of Cam* 
bridge, who all rode there in grand procession, with music play- 
ing before them ; and, when the ceremony was finished, used to 
ride and race about the place; then returning to Cambridge, 
cakes and ale were given to the boys who attended them, at the 
town-hall; but, we believe, this old custom is now laid aside." 
The Stockport jldvertUer of August 5, 1825, contains the 

no In Praise of Ale. 

fbllowiog programme: — ^'Didsbury Wakes will be celebrated on 
the Sthy 9th, and loth of August. A long bill of fare of the 
diversions to be enjoyed at this most delightful village has been 
published. The enjoyments consist chiefly of ass-races for 
purses of gold, prison-bar playing and grinning through collars for 
ale, bag«nicing for hats, foot-racing for sums of money, maiden 
plates for ladies under twenty years of age, for gown-pieces, 
shawls; treacled - loaf - eating for various rewards, smoking 
matches, apple-dumpling-eating, wheelbarrow-racing, the best 
heats ; bell-racing, and balls each evening. ' Quse nunc pnescribere 
longum est.' The honours of Didsbury festival are always well- 
regulated ; the display of youths of both sexes vieing with each 
other in wealth and fashion, as well as in cheerful and blooming 
fiices, is not exceeded by any similar event ; and the gaieties of 
each day are succeeded by the evening parties Bmtastically 
tripping through the innocent relaxation of country dances, reels, 
&C.9 to as favourite tunes, at the Cock and Ring o' Bells Inns." 

Beer, however, though associated with revelry, and the perhaps 
somewhat lax church feasts, has yet on other occasions been 
employed in the highest form of Christian worship, I remember 
readbg, about ten years ago, that in a remote Indian station 
neither the missionary in chaise nor the members of his congrega- 
tion had any wine in their possession, and were compelled 
to celebrate the holy communion in the hottest weather with 
bottled ale. This fact is honourable both to the pastor and the 
wordiippers, as showing the simple earnestness of their religious 
ftith. Subsequently the colonel of a neighbouring regiment, 
having heard of the difficulty, had the congregation supplied with 
wine at his own expense. This was probably the first time that 
bottled ale was used to celebrate the highest act of Christian 

At the time of the Reformation the old order of things passed 
away suddenly. The monasteries, and with them the old 
hospitality (for they were the inns and houses of call for 
travellers and the wandering friars), were, at the same time as 
the jovial wandering friars, improved off the earth. The 
custom of dispensing ale, however, firom long habit, reverted in a 

Church Ales and Observances. 1 1 1 

meamire to the reformed clergy, who, of course, could not be 
expected to distribute gratis at their own expense. The vicar's 
ale was always the best in the village, and the well-to-do 
inhabttanu sent to him when they wanted something extra good. 
According to the proceedings of the North Riding Record 
Society, the clei^gy seemed to have had a prescriptive right to sell ale 
and beer. In reviewing these proceedings, the jitbensum says: — 
** The part that the clergy play in the records before us is not so 
discreditable as we had before reading expected to find it« Two 
only are presented for keeping ale-houses without licence. It may 
be doubted whether a licence would have been formally granted to 
an ecclesiastic. That the number of tippling houses was far 
larger than the population required is evident from many pages of 
these proceedings. That the justices of the peace dealt with the 
evil as vigorously as they could, there is the fullest proof; but we 
confess that it does not strike us as so shockingly scandalous as it 
does the editor that two clergymen were presented for brewing 
and selling beer without a licence. Parts of the North Riding 
were then in a very wild state. There must have been many 
places where the curate's house was the only one at which a 
traveller could be sure of finding refreshment The livings were 
then much smaller than now. The clergy, too, were heavily 
taxed ; they were, as is well known to all who have studied the 
question, taken from a much lower social stratum than has been 
common of late years. What wonder is there, then, that, instead 
of extending hospitality freely, we should have now and then an 
instance of a parson who turned his beer-barrel to account, and 
charged for the drink with which he supplied strangers ?" 

That many of the clergy of the day were hard drinkers at a time 
when all men drank, there can be no question ; and Major White 
Melville's typical west country sporting parson, who could fight a 
main of cocks, drink the company blind drunk, and excel in all 
outdoor sports, was a not unfrequent character. Even the 
scholarly Dr. Syntax thought it no disgrace to get mellow. 

" If I remember right, 
1 was most lordly drunk last ight. 

U2 In Praise of Ale. 

The hunting parson, of whom perhaps the Rev. Jack Russell 
was the last survivor, was the successor to the portly, ruby-nosed, 
three-bottle incumbeoL Still even in those days the meek and 
earnest dei^yman, of whom Dr. Primrose was Uic type, was to 
be found in many a village hamlet : 

^ His house was known to all the vagrant train. 
He chid their wanderings but relieved their pain." 

• • • • . 

'' Unskilful he to fawn or seek for power, 
By doctrines fashioned to the varying hour. 
For other aima his heart had leam'd to prize. 
More skilled to raise the wretched than to rise." 

We in the present day owe much to the self-denying labour of 
the ministry, and it is well to remember this even when looking 
back half amused at the roystering, rollicking, beer-drinking clergy 
of a bygone generation. Their foibles are remembered, though 
their virtues are fbi^gotten. 

The foregoing list is sufEcient to show that in their works of 
charity, their provisions for masses and other religious observ- 
ances, they still thought of the poor man and his beer. Funerals, 
again, were occasions on which special provision was made for 
solid comfort. In the recently published chronicles of the York- 
shire family of Stapleton, who died ** full of years and honour, 
25 July, i394«'' The old knight, who in the Scrope and 
Grosvenor controversy had deposed to ** fifty years in arms,'' had 
outlived his brilliant generation. The jovial though dying 
warrior provided by his ^ill that the friends assembled at his 
funeral should have abundance of drink {^flU eUnt a boire 

Let's havb a Peal. 

Let's have a peal for John Cooke's soul, 

For he was an honest man ; 
With bells all in order, the cruse with die black bowl. 

The tankard likewise with the can. 

Church Ales and Observances, 1 1 3 

And I, roiDe own self, will ring the treble bell. 

And drink to you every one; 
Stand fast now, my mates, sing merrily and well, 

Till all this good ale is gone. 

— Frwn Ravenscroft's " PameLi." 

Major Bellenden's song would have suited, the worthy old 

'* An' what though winter will pinch severe 
Through locks of grey and a coat that's old, 
Yet keep up thy heart, bold cavalier. 

For a cup of sack shall fence the cold. 
For time will rust the brightest blade. 

And years will break the strongest bow ; 
Was never wight so starkly made 

But time and years would overthrow." 

— Sir W, Scott. 

Herrick, in his Hymn to the Lares, hits off the old customs : — 

'* It was, and still my care is, 
to worship ye, the Laivs, 
with crowns of greenest parsley, 
and garlick chives not scarcely : 
for favours here to warm me, 
and not by fire to harm me : 
for gladding so my hearth here 
with inoffensive mirth here ; 
that while the wassaile bowle here 
with north down ale doth trowl here, 
no syllable doth fall here, 
to marr the mirth at all here. 
For which, whene'er I am able, 
to keep a country-table, 
great be my fare or small cheer, 
I'le eat and drink up all here. 





** Dovjn m a vale on a summer^ s doff 
AU the ladi and latsu met to he merry ^ 
At matches for kit set at tiooi-halitoflayf 

And /or cakes^ and ale^ and lider and ferry,** 

Next io importance to the Christmas festivities come the Whitsun 
rejoicings, which were kept up vigorously. Here are a few of 
the songs applicable to that feast and May Day rejoicings, which 
generally fell about the same time of the year — sufficiently close, 
indeed, for the two sets of songs to come together. 

" The West Countrymen's Delight " appears in Tom 
D'Urphe/s *' Pills to Purge Melancholy/' and is reproduced from 
that source by Mr Chappell. The song gives a charming picture 
of rural life and felicity. 

The West Countrymen's Delight; 


Hey for Zummersstshirb. 

In summer time when flowers do spring. 

And birds sit on each tree. 
Let lords and knights say what they will, 

There's none so merry as we. 
There's Will and Moll, with Harry and Doll, 

And Tom and Bonny Bettee : 
Oh, how they jerk it, caper and firk it. 

Under the greenwood tree ! 

Whitsun Ales. 1 1 5 

In summer time when flowers do spring, 

And birds sit 00 each tree. 
Let lords and knighu say what they will, 

There's none so merry as we. 

Our music is a little pipe. 

That can so sweedy play ; 
We hire old Hal from Whitsuntide 

Till latter Lammas Day. 
On Sabbath days and holy-days. 

After evening prayer comes he : 
And then do we skip it, caper and trip it, 

Under the greenwood tree. 

In summer time, &c. 

Come play us Aiiam and Eve^ says Dick ; 

What's that ? says little Pipe; 
The Beginning of the World, quoth Dick, 

For we are dancmg ripe. 
Is't that you call ? Then have at all; 

He play'd with merry glee: 
O then did we skip it, caper and trip it, 

Under the greenwood tree. 

In summer time, &c. 

O'er hill and dales, to Whitsun-ales 

We dance a merry fytte ; 
When Susan sweet with John doth meet, 

She gives him Hit for Hit. — 
From head to foot she holds him to't. 

And jumps as high as he : 
Oh, how they spring it, flounce and fling it, 

Under the greenwood tree. 

In sununer time, &c. 

My lord's son must not be forgot. 
So full of merry jest ; 

H 2 

1 1 6 In Praise of Ale. 


He laughs to see the girls so hot, 
And jumps it with the resL 

No time is spent with more content^ 
In campy in court, or city : 

So long as we skip it, frisk it and trip it, 
Under the greenwood tree. 

In summer time, 5cc. 

We oft go to Sir William's ground. 

And a rich old cub is he ; 
And there we dance around, around. 

But never a penny we see. 
From thence we get to Somerset, 

Where men are frolic and (ree : 
And there do we skip it, frisk it and trip it, 

Under the greenwood tree. 

In summer time, &c. 

We fear no plots of Jews or Scots, 

For we are jolly swains; 
With plow and cow and barley-mow. 

We busy all our brains; 
No city cares, no merchant's fears 

Or wreck or piracy: 
Therefore we skip it, frisk it and trip it. 

Under the greenwood tree : 

In summer time, &c. 

On meads and lawns we trip like fawns, 

Like fillies, kids, and lambs; 
We have no twinge to make us cringe, 

Or crinkle in the hams. 
When the day is spent, with one consent, 

Again we all agree 
To caper and skip it, trample and trip it, 

Under the greenwood tree. 

In summer time, &c. 

Whitsun Ales, 1 1 7 

The next, the well-known Maypole song, is similar in scope 
to the foregoing, though I believe of an earlier date, being 
generally ascribed to the time of Charles I. Mr. William 
Chappell prints three versions,— one a curtailed edition of the 
following full one, and two others. I take his authority as to 
the others belonging to the age of Elizabeth. They are curious 
as showing how the same song gets altered in the course of time 
by different writers and collectors. The music to these words 
can be had at Chappell's, in Bond Street. 

The Maypole. — No. i. 

Come, lasses and lads. 
Get leave of your dads. 
And away to the May-pole hie, 
Where every He, 
Has got a She, 
And the fiddler standing by. 
Where Willy has got his Jill, 

And Jackey has got his Joan, 
And there to jig it, jig it, jig it, 
Jig it up and down. 

Tol de rol lol, &c. 

*' Begin," says Harry, 

" Ay, ay," says Mary, 
Let's lead up Paddington-pound, 

" Oh, no," says Hugh, 

" Oh, no," said Sue, 
Let's dance St. Ledger round. 
Then every lad did take 
His hat off to his lass; 
And every maid did curtsey, curtsey, 
Curtsey on the grass. 

" You're out," says Nick, 
" You lie," says Dick, 

1 1 8 In Praise of Ale, 

** For the fiddler play'd it wrong;" 
<<Aik1so/' says Sue, 
** And so/' says Hugh, 
And so says every one. 
The fiddler then began 
To play It o'er again, 
And erery maid did foot it, foot it, 
Foot it onto the men. 

*< Let's kiss," says Fan, 
" Ay, ay," says Nan, 
And so says every she; 

"How many?" says Nat, 
" Why, three," says Pat, 
** For that's a maiden's fee! " 
But instead of kisses three. 

They gave them half a score; 
The men, then, out of kindness, kindness, 
Gave 'em as many more. 

Then, after an hour. 
They went to a bower. 
To play for ale and cake. 
And kisses, too, 
Being in the cue. 
For the lasses held the stake. 
The women then began 

To quarrel with the men, 
And told 'em to take their kisses back. 
And give them their own again. 

Oh, thus they all stay'd 

Until it was late. 
And tired the fiddler quite, 

With fiddling and playing 

Without any paying, 
From morning until night. 

Whitsun Ales. 1 1 9 

They told the fiddler, then, 

They'd pay him for his play, 
And erery one paid twopence, twopence, ' 
Twopence, and toddled away. 

** Good night," says Bess, 

** Good night," says Jess, 

^ Good night," says Harry to Holl; 

^ Good nighty" says Hugh, 

*«Good night," says Sue, 

** Good night," says Nimble NelL 

Some ran, some walk'd, some stay'd. 

Some tarried by the way. 
And bound themselves by kisses twelve. 
To meet next holiday! 

To THE Maypole haste away. — Na 2. 

Time of Queen ER%abeth, 

Come, ye young men, come along 
With your music, dance, and song ; 
Bring your lasses in your hands, 
For 'tis that which love commands. 

Then to the Maypole haste away. 

For 'tis now a holiday. 

There each bachelor may choose 
One that faith will not abuse. 
Nor repay with coy disdain. 
Love that should be lov'd again. 

Then to the Maypole, 6cc. 

It is the choice time of the year, 
For the violets now appear; 
Now the rose receives its birth. 
And prttty primrose decks the earth. 

Then to the Maypole, &c. 

1 2 o In Praise of Ale. 

When you thus have spent your time. 

Till the day be past its prime. 

To your beds repair at night. 

And dream there of your day's delight 

Then to the Maypole, &c 

To THE Maypole away. — No. 3. 

Time of Charles /. 

Joan, to the Maypole away let us on. 
The time b swift and will be gone ; 
There go the lasses away to the green. 
Where their beauties may be seen ; 

Bess, Moll, Kate, Doll, 
All the gay lasses have lads to attend them, 

Hodge, Nick, Tom, Dick, 
Jolly brave dancers, who can amend them? 

Joan, to the Maypole, &c 

Do you not see how the lord of the May 
Walks along in rich array? 
There goes the lass that is only his. 
See how they meet and how they kiss 1 

Come, Willi run, Gill! 
Or dost thou list to lose thy labour? 

Kit, crowd ! scrape loud ! 
Tickle up Tom with a pipe and a tabor, 

Joan, to the Maypole, &c. 

Now, if we hold out as we do begin, 
Joan and I the prize shall win: 
Nay, if we live till another day, 
I'll make thee lady of the May. 

Dance round, skip, bound. 
Turn and kiss, and then for a greeting; 

Now, Joan, we've done, 
Fare-thee-well till the next merry meeting. 

Joan, to the Maypole, %c. 

Whitsun Ales. \ 2 1 

The lads and lasses went in for fun pure and simple, and 
innocent revelry. They played for cakes and ale, and were still 

** The maid — ^and thereby hangs a tale — 
For such a maid no Whitsun*ale 
Could ever yet produce." 

To those who^ alwajrs looking with jaundiced eyes at harmless 
revelry, can see evil in a kiss and seduction in a country dance, 
I would commend the next song. It is a comparatively modem 
one, but 1 cannot fix the exact date. 

Thi Damce upon the Lawn. 

I sing the days, the merry days — 

To English hearts most dear — 
When good old English customs ruled. 

And reigned throughout the year; 
When merry lads and lasses met, 

And daily toil was o'er, 
And grey-haired fathers watched their mirth 

Beside the cottage door. 
Oh, there was joy in Britain's isle. 

And peace from night till mom — 
When our sturdy peasants' pastime was 

The dance upon the lawn! 

Oh, those were days, were happy days 

For England's peasant band. 
When pipe and tabor's merry sounds 

Were heard throughout the land! 
When May-pole, decked with ribbons gay, 

Stood forth in village green, 
And harmless mirth and jollity 

Beneath its boughs were seen. 

1 22 In Praise of Ale. 

We join'd the happy cottar's throng, 

Nor lad nor lass would scorn 
To trip a measure gaily in 

The dance upon the lawn. 

But though these days, these merry days, 

Long since have passed away — 
There still is plenty in the land. 

Then, wherefore not be gay? 
If summer's glorious sunshine will 

The fruits and flowers restore, 
I know not he v^hu would not be 

As happy as of yore. 
Then, care away, we'll still be gay. 

We'll laugh our foes to scorn ; 
And once again we'll sport it in 

The dance upon the lawn. 

Now IS THE Month of MAYmc. 

Now is the month of Maying, 
When merry lads are playing, 

Fal la la la la. 

Each with his boDny lass 
A-dancing on the grass, 

Fal la la la la. 

The spring, clad all in gladness. 
Doth laugh at Winter's madness, 

Fal la la la la. 

And to the bagpipes' sound, 
The nym[^s tread out the ground. 

Fal la la la la. 

Not less to the purpose is the song of <* Steady," from Dibden's 
operetta of the Quaker, The part was originally taken by Incle- 

Whitsun Ales. 1 23 

don, and Gillian by Miss Bolton. The few lines which precede 
the song are worth reprinting, as a fair example of the kindly 
feelings that prerailed. Indeed, songs from the dramatists are 
doubly valuable, inasmuch as they are not merely gems, without 
beginning or ending as the bulk of songs are, but, taken with the 
surrounding context or framework, they give a key to the char- 
acter of the singer, and so form a more perfect picture of the 
times and manners. 

Steady, Thou art mistaken; and when thou beholdest the 
gambols to-morrow on the green 

Gillian. I shall long most monstrously to make one amongst 

Steady. And so thou shalt Goodness forbid that I should 
withhold from thee those pleasures that are innocent. [,Singi, 

The Lads of the Village. 

While the lads of the village shall merrily, ah, 

Sound their tabors, I'll hand thee along, 
And I say unto thee, that merrily, ah, 

Thou and I will be first in the throng. 

While the lads, &c. 

Just then, when the youth who last year won the dower, 
And his mate, shall the sports have begun, 

When the gay voice of gladness resounds from each bower. 
And thou long'st in thy heart to make one. 

While the lads, kc. 

Those joys that are harmless what mortal can blame ? 

'Tis my maxim that youth should be free; 
And to prove that my words and my deeds are the same. 

Believe thou shalt presently see. 

While the lads, kc. 

The sequel shows how faithfully the Quaker kept his promise. 
And sacrificed himself to promote the happiness of Gillian and her 
lover, which was celebrated in a catch : — 

124 In Praise of Ale, 

** Let nimble daDces beat the groandy 

Let taboufy flageolet, and fife, 
Be heard from every bower: 

Let the can go round: 
What's the health?— long life 

To the donor of the dower.** 

Jas. Beatde, in hit *' ImitationB of Spenser/' strikes the same 
melancholy chord in singing the bygone pleasures and glories of 
the rustic feasts. 

^ And thither let the village swain repair ; 
And light of heart, the village maiden gay. 
To deck with flowers her half-dishevePd hair, 
And celebrate the merry mom of May. 
There let the shepherd*s pipe the livelong day 
Fill all the grove with love's bewitching woe; 
And when mild evening comes with mantle grey, 
Let not the blooming band make haste to go; 
Nor ghost nor spell my long and last abode shall know. 

** See ! jolly Autumn, clad in hunter's green, 
In wholesome lusty heel doth mount the sphere, 
A leafy garland binds her temples sheen, 
Instudded richly with the spikey ear. 
Her right hand bears a vine-encircled spear. 
Such as the crew did wield when Bacchus led, 
When to the Ganges he his course did steer ; 
And in her left a bugle horn she had. 
On which she oft did blow and made her heart right glad. 

*^ Ah, happy days ! but now no longer found ; 
No more with social hospitable glee 
The village hearths at Christmas-tide resound, 
No more the Whitsun gambol may you see. 
Nor morrice dance, nor May-day jollitie. 

Whit sun Ales. 125 

When the blythe maidens foot the dewy green ; 

But nowy in place, heart-sinking penurie 

And hopeless care on every face is seen, 

As these, the dreary times of curfeu bell had been. 

^ What pleasance mote a learned wight enjoy 
Among the hills and vales and shady bowres, 
To mark how buxom Ceres round him poures 
The hoary-headed wheat, the freckled come, 
The bearded barlie, and the hopp that towres 
So high, and with his bloom salews the mome, 
And with the orchard vies the lawnskepe to adome." 

Addison, in the Spectator^ describes the humours of a country 
wake as it existed in his day: — *'The ring of wrestlers, and the 
squire who always treats the whole company every year with a 
hogshead of ale, and proposes a beaver hat as a recompense to him 
who gives roost falls." 

" But past is all their fame, the very spot 
Where many a time they triumphed, is forgot." 

•* Trembling age, with happy smile, 

Youth's high-mettled gambols view, 
And by fancy warm'd awhile. 

Scenes of former bliss renew ; 
Love repeats his tender tale, 

Cheeks responsive learn to glow, 
And while song and jest prevail. 

Nut-brown tankards circling flow. 
Would'st thou wish such joys to share, 
Haste then to the Village Fair." 

The next extract, from «• The Unconscionable Batchelors of 
Darby," one of Mr Llewellyn Jewitt's collection of Derbyshire 
ballads, shows that the lads were not so generous to the lasses as 

126 In Praise of Ale, 

they might, could, wou]d» and should have been, since they left 
them in the lurch, as poor Sue found to her cost: — 

<* That after the pot there cometh the shot, 
And that is the blot on a pot of good ale." 

** The innocent lasses, fair and gay, 

Concluded the men were kind and free, 
Because they passed the time away — 
A-plenty of cakes and ale they see ; 
For cider and mead they then did call. 

And whatever else the house afforded; 
But Susan was fbrc'd to pay for all 
Out of the money she had hoarded. 

Hoarded^ hoarded, money she had hoarded; 

It made her sing a doleful ditty ; 
And 80 did the rest, with grief opprest, 
And was not that a pity." 

The next May Day absurdity is from the Old Engjjsh Burletta 
of Midas. My version bears no date or author's name, but it 
shows how the gods and mortals did unite to have a jolly spree 
on May Day. The first scene in the clouds shows the gods in 
full council, and opens with the following chorus : — 

^ Jove in his chair. 
Of the sky, Lord Mayor, 
With his rods 
Men and gods 
Keeps in awe. 
When he winks 
Heaven shrinks; 
When he speaks 

Earth's globe is but his uw." 

Whitsun Ales, 127 

** Cock of the school 
He bears despotic rule. 
His word. 
Though absurd. 
Must be law." 

In due time the more jovial gods come down to enjoy a little 
rural felicity and fiin: — 

<' All around the Maypole how they trot. 


And good ale have got; 


At you flouting. 


And what not. 

*' There's old Sileno frisks like mad, 


To see us sad; 


While Pol, scraping. 


The lasses, 
As he did the dad." 

As a specimen of bygone humour the above u peculiar, but I 
doubt whether it would be appreciated at the present day. It is 
in distinct contrast to thpse previously given, which are full of 
life and interest. 

Phillips, the classical author of the " Splendid Shilling," and 

1 28 In Praise of Ale, 

the ••Ode to Cyder," describes the doings in Olympia in far more 
stately terms:— 

•• She said: the sire of gods and men supreme, 
With aspect bland, attentive audience gave, 
Then nodded awful: from his shaken locks 
Ambrosial fragrance flew : the signal given 
By Ganymede the skinker soon was ken'd; 
With ale he Heaven's capacious goblet crown *d, 
To Phrygian mood Apollo tun'd his lyre. 
The Muses sang alternate, all carous'd, 
But Bacchus murmuring left th' assembled powers, 
The separate table and the costly bowl, 
Cool as the blast that checks the budding Spring, 
A mockery of gladness round them fling." 

Considering the origin of May Day observances, however, it 
is not surprising that the gods should like to join in the revelry. 
But, alas! 

•• What's not destroyed by Time's relentless hand, 
Where's Troy, and where's the Maypole in the Strand ? " 

Before the Maypole was abolished the nymphs and ttwains 
held high jinks. 

•' Amid the area wide they tooke their stand. 
Where the tall Maypole overiooked the Strand, 
But now, so Anne and piety ordain, 
A church collects the nymphs of Drury Lane." 

•• Yet old Queen Madge, 
Though things do not fadge» 

Will serve to be queen of a May-pole; 
Two Princes of Wales, 
For Whitsun-alcs 

And her Grace Maid-Marion Claypole." 

— Butler. 

Whitsun Ales. 129 

The Stnmd Maypole was struck by lightningy aod the lower 
part was given to Sir Isaac Newton to make a stand for his great 
telescope. On the site of the Maypole the Church of St. Mary- 
le-Strand, opposite Somerset House, was built ; but the remains 
of Maypole Alley still exist in name, and forms one of the sides 
of the Olympic Theatre. 

I doubt much whether any Maypoles exist in this country. I 
remember seeing one about forty years ago, in the little parish of 
West Dean, the last sution before getting into Salisbury, by the 
Romsey branch of the London and South-Western Railway. The 
old English obsenrances of May Day, when Kings, Queens, and 
Courtiers went a-Maying, are now as dead as the Dodo. The 
Jack-in-the»Green and the Sweeps' celebration, which were pro- 
longed m honour of Mrs. Montague and her long-lost child, hare 
hiltn mto desuetude, and the place of Jack-in-the-Green is vacant. 
Montgomery celebrated the finding of the child-sweep in his 
mother's house in the following rhapsody: — 

^ Now from the chimney top did Edwin peep^ 
And 'midst the howling tempest shouted * Sweep '! 
Haiiil hark ! she cried — the wind appeared to deep, 
Again poor Edwin shouted sweep! sweep! sweep! 
My child ! my child! she cried, with accents wild! 
O, heaven ! It is, it is my child, my child." 

The sweeps had occasion to rejoice on the recovery, and for 
yean were entertained at Montague House, Portroan Square, 
with good old &re of roast beef, plum pudding, ale, and a 
shilling besides. 

Whit-Monday rejoicings and celebrations are still kept up, in a 
manner, in some parts of the country,' and is the great day for the 
club celebration, when the members in foil insignia march first to 
the church, and afterwards celebrate the club dinner. The sub- 
joined extracts give a capital picture of the doings of the day, for 
which I am indebted to the late Rev. Mr. Barnes' Book of 
Poems in the Dorset Dialect. 

1 30 In Praise of Ale. 


Eet, ]aflt Whit-Moodayy I an' Meary 

Got up bettroes to miDd the deaiiy; 

An' gi'ed the milk^ pails a scrub. 

An' dress'd an' went to see the club. 

Vor up at public-house, by ten 

O'clock the pleace wer vull o' men, 

A-dress'd to goo to church an' dine, 

An' walk about the pleace in line. 

Zoo off* they started, two an' two. 

We' painted poles an' knots o' blue. 

An' girt silk flags, — I wish ray box 

'D a-got em all in ceapes an frocks, — 

A-weav^n wide an' flapp^ loud 

In playsome winds abore the crowd ; 

While fifes did squeak an' drums did rumble, 

An' deep beezzoons did grunt an' grumble. 

An' all the vo'k in gathr^n crowds 

Rick'd up the doust in smeechy clouds, 

That slowly rose an' spread abrode 

In stream^n air above the road. 

An' then at church there wer sich lots 

O'hats a-hang^n up wi' knots. 

An' poles a-stood so thick as iver 

The rushes stood beside a rirer. 

An' Mr. Goodman gi'ed em wam^n 

To spend their eren^ lik' their mom^n ; 

An' not to pray wi mom^n tongues, 

An' then to swear wi' evendn lungs; 

Nor vu'st sheake hands, to let the wrist 

Lift up at last a bruis^ vist 

Vor clubs were all a-mean'd vor friends. 

He twold em, an' vor better ends 

Than twit'en To'k an' pick^n quarrels, 

An' tippl^n cups an' empt^n barrels, — 

Whitsun Ales. 1 3 1 

Vor meak^n woone man do another 

In need the kindness ov a brother. 

An* after church they went to dine 

'Ithin the long-wall'd room behine 

The poblic-house, where you remember, 

We had our dance back last December. 

An' there they meadc sich stunnen clatters 

Wr knives an' forks, an' pleates an' platters; 

An' waiters ran, an' beer did pass 

Vrom tap to jug, vroro jug to glass; 

An' when they took away the dishes, 

They drink'd good healths, an' wish'd good wishes. 

To all the girt vo'k o' the land, 

An' all good things vo'k took in hand; 

An' woone cried hip, hip, hip! an' hollow'd. 

An' tothers all struck in, an' yoUow'd ; 

An' grabb'd their drink wi' eager clutches. 

An' swigg'd it wi' sich hearty glutches. 

As vo'k stark mad wi' pweison stuff. 

That thought theirzelves not mad enough. 

An' after that they went all out 

In rank agean, an' walk'd about, 

An' gi'ed zome parish vo'k a call; 

An' then went down to Narley Hall, 

An' had zome beer, an' danc'd between 

The elem trees upon the green. 

An' down along the road they done 

All sorts o' mad-cap things vor fun. 

An' danc'd, a pok^n out their poles, 

An' push^n bwoys down into holes; 

An' Sammy Stubbs come out o' rank. 

An' kiss'd me up agean the bank. 

A saucy chap; I han't vor'gied en 

Not yet — in short, I han't a-zeed en. 

Zoo in the dusk ov evenin, zome 

Went back to drink, an' zome went whome. 

I 2 

T32 In Praise of Ale. 

These ballads were written m the days when simple faith pre- 
vailed. Friar Bacon wrote a satire on the degeneracy of the times 
in which he lived. What would he have written now when 
Holland butter and oleomargarine are palmed off* as the ** best 
Dorset,'' and Yankee cheese as the " best Cheddar"? 

" Then oates were knowne from rie, 

And barley from the wheate; 
A cheese cake and a pie 

Were held good country meate. 
When ale, and spice, and curdes, and creame, 
Would make a schoUer make a theame. 

" Then John, and Joan, and Madge, 

Were call'd the merry crew, 
That with no drink coulde fadge. 

But where the fat they knew ; 
And though they knew who brew'd the ale. 
Yet it must stand till it were stale." 

** Let the rich deride, the proud disdain. 
The simple pleasures of the lowly train: 
To me more dear, congenial to my heart, 
One native charm than all the gloss of art" 

Edward Loveybond's elegy on old May Day forms a fitting 
dirge for bygone pleasures: — 

The Tears of Old May-Day. 

Led by the jocund train of vernal hours. 
And vernal Airs, uprose the gentle May ; 

Blushing she rose, and blushing rose the flow'rs 
That sprung spontaneous in the genial ray. 

Her locks with heav'n's ambrosial de\K'8 were bright. 
And amorous Zephyrs flutter'd on her breast; 

With ev'ry shifting gleam of morning light, 
The colours shifted of her rainbow vest 

Whitsun Ales. 133 

Imperial ensigni grac'd her fnuling fornix 
A golden key, and golden wand she bore; 

This charms to peace each sullen eastern storm. 
And that unlocks the summer's copious store. 

Onward in conscious majesty she came. 
The grateful honours of mankind to taste; 

To gather ^rest wreaths of future ^me. 

And blend fresh triumphs with her glories past. 

Vain hope ! no more in choral bands unite 

Her virgin yot'ries, and at early dawn. 
Sacred to May and Love's mysterious rite. 

Brush the light dew-drops from the spangled lawn. 

To her no more Augusta's wealthy pride 
Pours the full tribute from Potost's mine; 

Nor fresh-blown garlands village maids provide, 
A purer offering, at her rustic shrine. 

No more the Maypole's verdant height around 
To valour's games th' ambitious youth advance; 

No merry bells and tambors' sprightlier sound 
Wake the loud carol, and the sportive dance. 

Sudden in pensive sadness drooped her head, 
Faint on her cheeks the blushing crimson dy'd: 

** O ! chaste victorious triumphs ! whither fled ? 
My maiden honours, whither gone ? " she cry'd. 

Ah ! once to fame and bright dominion bom, 
The Earth and smiling Ocean saw me rise. 

With time coeval and the star of mom. 
The first, the direst daughter of the skies. 

Then, when at heaven's prolific mandate sprung, 

The radiant beam of new-created May, 
Celestial harps, to airs of triumphs strung, 

Hail'd the glad dawn, and angels calPd me May. 

1 34 In Praise of Ale. 

For e?er then I led the codsudi year. 

Saw Youth, and Joy, and Love's enchanting wiles; 
Saw the mild Graces in my train appear. 

And Infant Beauty brighten in my smiles. 

• • • • • • • 

But chief in Europe, and in Europe's pride, 
My Albion's fiiTOur'd realms, I rose ador'd; 

And pour'd my wealth, to other climes deny'd, 
From Amalthea's horn with plenty stor'd. 

• • ■ • • • • 

Do morning suns in ruddier glory rise? 

Does ev'ning fan her with serener gales? 
Do clouds drop fatness from the wealthier skies ? 

Or wantons Plenty in her happier vales? 

Then Britain — here she ceas'd. Indignant grief, 
And parting pangs her falt'ring tongue supprest; 

Veil'd m an amber cloud, she sought relief, 
And tears, and silent anguish told the rest 


cHArrsft VI. 

** Nnov Knife-Grinder. / jbaS he glad to drhd jrowr honour's 
healih in 
A pot of hear i \f J^^ will give me sixpence, 
Bui ^ for my part^ I never Itke to meddle with politics ^ sir. 
Friend OF Humanity, /give thee sixpence P Nay! PU see thee 
damned first,** 

Beer, od account of its being an exciaeable article, and a very 
important factor in the revenue, hat always given rise to an 
immense amount of political rancour whenever a ChanceUor of 
the Exchequer has attempted to *' raise the wind " by means 
of malt and hop productions. Of these songs I shall deal 
in due course. The most virulent political songs, however, 
were composed and sung during the Restoration period, after the 
downfall of Cromwell and his Puritan following, when the Book 
of Sports was reopened and jollities revived, and, as Bishop Earle 
says in his '< Microcosmographie " — " A plain country fellow, 
or downright clown, esteems Sunday a day to make merry in, 
and thinks a bagpipe as essential to it as evening prayer. He 
walks very solemnly after service, with his hands coupled behind 
him, and censures (criticises) the dancing of his parish." The 
Puritans, rightly or wrongly, had the credit of loving good 
liquor, on account of Cromwell's association with the brewing 
inteiest, and in his younger days of knowing how to prepare and 
enjoy it right royally. The following selection shows the feeling 
that prevailed when the Protector's reign ceased. They belong to 
the <^Rump" class of songs, which are rather too full-flavoured for 
the present time, so that I have been compelled to make omissions. 

1 36 In Praise of Ale. 

The most popular songs were those headed the " Good Old 
Cause," «' Brewer," and « Joan's Ale." 

The Good Old Cause. 

Now Lambert's sunk, and valiant Monk 

Does ape his general Cromwel, 
And Arthur's court, 'cause time is short, 

Does rage like devils from hell ; 
Let's marie the fate, and course of State, 
Who rises when t'other is sinking. 
And believe, when this is past, 
'Twill be our turn at last 
To bring the good old cause by drinking. 

First, red-nos'd Nol he swallowed all, 

His colour showed he lov'd it. 
But Dick bis son, as he were none, 

Gav't off and hath reprov'd it; 
But that hu foes made bridge of 's nose. 
And cry'd him down for a protector. 
Proving him to be a fool. 
That would undertake to rule, 
And not drink and fight like Hector. 

The Grecian lad he drank like mad, 
Minding no work above it, 

A question he kill'd Ephestion 
Because he'd not approve it; 
He got command where God had land, 
And like a maudlin yonker. 

When he tippled all and wept, 
He laid him down to sleep, 
Having no more worlds to conquer. 

Rump Parliament would needs invent 
An oath of abjuration, 

Political. 137 

But obedience and allegiance 

Are now come into fashion ; 
Then here's a boul with heart and soul 
To Charles, and let all say " Amen *' to't; 
Though they brought the father down 
From a triple kingdom crown, 
We'll drink the son up again to't. 

Thb Brewer. 

(From D'Urphey's Collection.) 

There's many a clinking verse is made. 
In honour of the Blaeksmlh*s trade, 
But more of the Brewer may be said; 
Which nobody can deny. 

I need not much of this repeat; 
The Blacksmith cannot be complete, 
Unless the Brewer do give him a heat ; 
Which nobody can deny. 

When I snug unto the Forge doth come. 
Unless the Brewer doth liquor him home, 
He'll never strike my pot, and thy pot, down ; 
Which nobody can deny. 

Of aU professions in the town. 
The Brewer's trade hath gain'd renown ; 
His liquor reaches up to the crown ; 
Which nobody can deny. 

Many new lords from him there did spring, 
Of all the Trades he was still their king ; 
For the Brewer had the world in a sling ; 
Which nobody can deny. 

138 In Praise of Ale. 

He scorneth all laws and marehall stops, 
But whips an army as round as tops, 
And cuts off his foes as thick as hops; 

Which nobody can deny. 

He dires for Riches down to the Bottom, 
And crys my masters when he's got 'em; 
Let every Tub stand upon his own Bottom ; 

Which nobody can deny. 

In warlike acts he scorns to stoop, 
For when his army begins to droop, 
He draws them up as round as a hoop; 

Which nobody can deny. 

The Jewish Scot that scorns to eat 
The flesh of swme, and Brewers' beat; 
'Twas the sign of his Hogshead made 'em retreat ; 

Which nobody can deny. 

Poor Jockey and his Basket Hilt 
Was beaten, and much blood was spilt ; 
And their bodies like barrels did run a tilt; 

Which nobody can deny. 

Though Jemmy gave the first assault. 
The Brewer at last made him to halt ; 
And gave them what the cat left in the malt ; 

Which nobody can deny. 

They cxfd that the Anti-Christ came to settle 
Religion in a cooler or a kettle ; 
For his nose and copper were both of one metal ; 

Which nobody can deny. 

For bottle ale, though it be windy, 
Wherof I cannot choose but mind ye, 
I would not have it left behind ye ; 

Which nobody can deny. 

Political. 1 39 

For couDtiy alet, as that of Chess, 
Or of Darby you'll confess. 
The more you drink, you'll need the less ; 
Which nobody can deny. 

But one thmg must be thought upon 
For morning draught when all is done, 
A pot of purl for Harrison ; 

Which nobody can deny. 

Some Christian kings began to quake. 
And said with the Brewer no quarrel we'll make, 
Well let him alone, as he brews let him bake ; 
Which nobody can deny. 

He hath a strong and very stout heart. 
And thought to be made an emperor fbr't ; 
But the devil put a spoke in his cart ; 
Which nobody can deny. 

If any intended to do him disgrace. 
His fury would take off his head in the place; 
He always did carry his furnace in his Bice; 
Which nobody can deny. 

But yet, by the way, you must understand, 
He kept his foes so under command ; 
That Pride could never get the upper hand; 
Which nobody can deny. 

He was a stout Brewer, of whom we may brag. 
But now he is hurried away with a Hag; 
He brews in a bottle and bakes in a Bag ; 
Which nobody can deny. 

And now may all stout soldiers say. 
Farewell the glory of the day ; 
For the Brewer himself is turned to clay; 
Which nobody can deny. 

1 40 In Praise of Ale. 

Thuf fell the brave Brewer, the bold son of slaughter. 
We need not to fear what shall follow after; 
For he dealt all his time in fire and water ; 
Which nobody can deny. 

And if his successor had had but his might. 
Then we had not been in such pitiful plight; 
But he was found nuny grains too light; 
Which nobody can deny. 

Let's leave off singing and drink off* our bub. 
We'll call up a reckoning and every man club, 
For I think I have told you a tale of a Tub ; 
Which nobody can deny. 

Here is another version, once very popular among the Cavaliers, 
under the title of the "Protecting Brewer '*: — 

A Brewer may be as bold as Hector, 
When he has drunk off his cup of nectar. 
And a Brewer may be the Lord Protector; 

Which nobody can deny. 

Now here remains the strangest thing. 
How this Brewer about his liquor did bring, 
To be an emperor or a king; 

Which nobody can deny. 

According to Hudibras, the swords of the Commonwealth 
were general utility weapons : — 

It was a serviceable dudgeon 
Either for fighting or for drudging: 
When it had stabbed or broke a head, 
It would scrape trenchers or chip bread. 
Toast cheese, or bacon ; though it were 
To bait a mouse trap 'twould not care: 
'Twonld make clean shoes^ and in the earth 
Set leeks and onions and so forth : 

Political. 1 4 1 

It had been 'prentice to a brewer, 
Where this, and much more it did endure. 

Another poet gives a somewhat simiiar verrion of the general 
utility purposes which the armour of the period senred: — 

In days of old, our Withers went to war. 
Expecting sturdy blows and hardy fare: 
Their beef they often in their morions stew'd, 
And in their basket-hilts their beverage brew'd. 

In peace as in war, the insignia of office served as receptacles 
for liquor, the orbs which surmounted the wands of office of high 
dignitaries were converted into drinking vessels, similarly to those 
globes which headed the staves of the running footmen of the 

Hudibras himselff when taken prisoner at Exeter later on, was 
ransomed by a barrel of ale. 

** Have I,'' quoth he, <*been u'en in fight, 
And for so many moons lain by't. 
And when all other means did fail, 
Have been exchanged for tubs of ale." 

According to BelPs Annotation, this identifies Hudibras with 
Sir Samuel Luke. 

I have appropriated the following, verbatim el Bleratim^ with 
notes from Percy: — 

The Sale of the Rsbeluous Household Stuff. 

And here is the bitt and the bridle. 

And curb of dissimulation; 
And here's the trunk-hose of the rump. 

And their fair dissembling cloak, 
And a Presbyterian jump. 

With an Independent smock. 

Says old Simon the King, &c. 

1 4 2 In Praise of Ale, 

Will you buy a conscience oft turn'd. 

Which acir'd the high court of justice, 
And stretch'd until England it mourn'd? 

And Hell will buy that if the worst is. 
Here's Joan Cromwell's * kitching-stuff tub, 

Wherein is the fat of the Ruropers, 
With which old Noll's horns she did rub, 

When he was got drunk with false bumpers. 

Says old Simon the King, &c 

Here's the purse of the public faith; 

Here's the model of the Sequestration, 
When the old wives upon their good troth, 

Lent thimbles to ruine the nation. 
Here's Dick Cromwell's Protectorship, 

And here are Lambert's commissions. 
And here is Hugh Peters, his scrip* 

Cramm'd with the tumultuous Petitions. 

Says old Simon the King, &c. 

And here are old Noll's brewing vessels, 

And here are his dray and his slings ; 
Here are Hewson's awl, and his bristles; f 

With diverse other odd things : 
And what is the price doth belong 

To all these matters before ye? 
I'll sell them for an old old song, 

And so do I end my story. 

Says old Simon the King, 5cc. 

This sarcastic collection of triumphant loyalty is printed from 
an old black letter copy in the Pepys' Collection, corrected by 

* This was a cant name given to Cromwell's wife by the Royalists, 
though her name was Elizabeth. She was taxed with exchanging the 
kitchen stuff for the candles used in the Protector's household, etc. See 
GentUnuHt Afafrtntime for March 17SS, p. 141. 

t Colonel Hewton b said to have been originally a cobbler. 

Political. 143 

two otherty one of which is prescnred in A Choice Collection of One 
Hundred and Twenty Loyal Songi^ &c., 1684, i2mo — to the 
tune of *< Old Simon the King." 

Joan* 8 Ale. 

From the many versions of this song which are extant, and 
reproduced in one form or another in most coUecdoDSy the song 
or lampoon must have been immensely popular. 

The full title of this ballad, as given by Chappell, is — 
*< Joan's Ale is New; or a New Merry Medley, shewing the 
Power, the Strength, the Operation, and the Virtue that remains 
in Good Ale, which is accounted the Mother-Drink of England.". 

** All you that do this merry ditty view, 
Taste of Joan's ale, for it is strong and new.'' 

Bell says of this song: — 

** From the names of Nolly and Joan, and the allusion to ale, 
we are inclined to consider this popular old song as a lampoon 
levelled at Cromwell and his wife, whom the Royalist party 
nick-named * Joan.' The Protector's acquaintances (depicted as 
low and vulgar tradesmen) are here humorously represented paying 
him a congratulatory visit on his change of fortune, and regaling 
themselves with the * brewer's ale.' " 

There were six jovial tradesmen. 

And they all sat them down to dnnking, 

For they were a jovial crew; 
They sat themselves down to be merry; 
And they called for a bottle of sherry. 
You're welcome as the hills, says Nolly, 

While Joan's ale is new, brave boys. 

While Joan's ale is new. 

The first that came in was a soldier. 
With his firelock over his shoulder ; 
Sure no one could be bolder, 

And a long broadsword he drew . 

1 44 In Praise of Ale. 

He swore he would fight for England's ground. 
Before the nation should be run down. 
He boldly drank their healths all round. 
While Joan's ale was new. 

The next that came in was a hatter. 
Sure no one could be blacker, 
And he began to chatter 

Among the jovial crew: 
He threw his hat upon the ground. 
And swore every man should spend his pound, 
And boldly drank their healths all round, 

While Joan's ale was new. 

The next that came in was a dyer, 
And he sat himself down by the fire, 
For it was his heart's desire 

To drink with the jovial crew: 
He told the landlord to his face, 
The chimney-comer should be his place. 
And there he'd sit and dye his face, 

While Joan's ale was new. 

The next that came in was a tinker, 
And he was no small beer drinker, 
And he was no strong ale shrinker 

Among the jovial crew. 
For his brass nails were made of metal, 
And he swore he'd go and mend a kettle; 
Good heart, how his hammer and nails did rattle ! 

While Joan's ale was new ! 

The next that came in was a tailor. 
With his bodkin, shears, and thimble; 
He swore he would be nimble 
Among the jovial crew: 

Political. 1 4 5 

They at and they called for ale so stout, 
Till the poor tailor was almost broke. 
And was forced to go and pawn his coat. 
While Joan's ale was new. 

The next that came in was a ragman, 
With his rag-bag over his shoulder; 
Sure, no one could be bolder 

Among the jovial crew. 
They sat and called for pots and glasses. 
Till they were ^1 drunk as asses, 
And burnt the old ragman's bag to ashes. 

While Joan's ale was new. 

Here is another and entirely different version. It was entered 
on the 26th October i 594, by John Danter, on the books of the 
Stationers' Company, ** for his copie, a ballet intituled < Jone's 
Ale is Newe.' " It appears also in D'Urfey's Collection: — 

There was a jovial Tinker, 
Which was a good ale drinker; 
He never was a shrinker; 
Believe me this is true. 
And he came from the wild of Kent, 
When all his money was gone and spent. 
Which made him look like a Jaek^a^Lent, 

And JocuCi ale u new^ 

And JoafCt ale u new^ Boyt^ 

And Joan* I ale u new. 

The Tinker he did settle 
Most like a man of mettle. 
And vowed to pawn his kettle. 

Now mark what did ensue: 
His neighbours they flock'd in apace 
To see Tom Tinker^! comely face, 
Where they drank soundly for a space, 

Whilst Joan's ale was new. 

1 46 In Praise of Ale. 

The Cobbler and the Brown man. 

Came next into the room, man, 

And said they would drink for boon, man. 

Let each one take his due; 
But when good liquor they had found. 
They cast their caps upon the ground, 
And so the Tinker he drank round. 

Whilst Joan's ale was new. 

The Ragman being weary 
With the burden he did cany, 
He swore he would be merry, 

And spend a shilling or two ; 
And he told his hostess to her face. 
The chimney-comer was his place, 
And he began to drink apace. 

And Joan's ale was new. 

The Pedler he drew nigher. 

For it was his desire 

To throw the rags i' th' fire, 

And bum the bundle blue; 
So whilst they drank whole flashes, 
And threw about the glasses, 
The rags were bumt to ashes. 

And Joan's ale was new. 

Part II. 

And than came in the Hatter, 
To see what was the matter; 
He scorned to dnnk cold water, 

Amongst that jovial crew ; 
And like a man of courage stout. 
He took the quart-pot by the snout. 
And never left till the glass was out 

Oh, Joan's ale was new. 

Pditical. 147 

The Taylor being Dimble» 

With bodkin, ahean, and thimble. 

He did no whit dissemble ; 

I think his name was True. 
He said that he was like to choak, 
And he called so fast for lap and smoak. 
Until he had pawn'd the vinegar cloak. 

For Joan's ale was new. 

Then came a pitiful Porter, 
Which often did resort there; 
Quoth he, I'll show some sport here, 

Amongst the jovial crew. 
The Porter he had very bad luck. 
Before that it was ten o'clock; 
The fool got drunk and lost his frock. 

For Joan*s ale was new. 

The bonny brave Shoemaker, 

A brave tobacco taker, 

He scom'd to be a Quaker; 

I think his name was Hugh, 
He called for liquor in so fast. 
Till he forgot his awl and last. 
And up the reckoning he did cast. 

Whilst Joan's ale was new. 

And then came in a Weaver, 
You never saw a braver. 
With a silkman and a glover, 

Tom Tinker for to view ; 
And so to welcome him to town. 
They every man spent half a crown. 
And so the drink went merrily down. 

And Joan's ale was new. 

K 2 

1 48 In Praise of Ale. 

Then came a dnioken Dutchmao, 
And he would have a touch man. 
But soon he took too muchy man. 

Which made them after rue; 
He drank so long, as I suppose. 
Till greasie drops fell from his nose, 
And like a beast befbul'd his hose. 

Whilst Joan's ale was new. 

A Welchman he came next, sir, 
With joy and sorrow mixt, sir, 
Who being partly vex'd, sir, 

He out his dagger drew; 
Cui4 pluiter^a''multf quoth Taffy then, 
A Welchman is a shentleman. 
Comes, hostess, fill's the other can, 

For Joan's ale was new. 

Thus like to men of courage stout. 
Courageously they drank about, 
*Till such time as the ale was out. 

As I may tell to you. 
And when the business was done. 
They ev'ry man departed home. 
And promised Joan again to come. 

When she had brew'd anew. 

The following version shows another variation of the same 

There were three jolly fellows 
Came o'er the hills together, 
Came o'er the hills together. 

To join this jovial crew. 
They ordered the quarts and bottles of sherry, 
To help them o'er the hills so merry, 
To help them o'er the hills so merry, 

When Joan's ale was new, my boys, 

When Joan's ale was new. 

Political. 1 49 

The fint that came was a dnkei. 
And be was do small beer drinker. 
And be was no small beer drinker, 

To join this jovial crew. 
{He tmd) Have you got any pots or kettles to fettle, 
My rivets are made of the very best meul, 
And all the holes I'll quickly settle. 

When Joan's ale was new, my boys. 

When Joan's ale was new. 

The next that came was a dyer. 
He sat himself down by the fire. 
He sat himself down by the fire. 

To join this jovial crew. 
The landlady told him to his face. 
The chimney comer was his place. 
And there he might sit and dye his old face. 

When Joan's ale was new, my boys. 

When Joan's ale was new. 

The next that came was a hatter, 
And DO man could be fatter, 
And DO man could be fatter. 

To join this jovial crew. 
He threw his old hat upon the ground. 
And swore each man should spend a crown, 
And drink the health of all around. 

When Joan's ale was new, my boys. 

When Joan's ale was new. 

The next that came was a soldier, 
With his firelock over his shoulder. 
With his firelock over his shoulder, 

To join the jovial crew. 
The landlady's daughter then came in, 
She kissed him over the lips and chin, 

ISO In Praise of Ale. 

The quarts of ale came tumbling in, 
When Joan't ale was new, my boys, 
When Joan's ale was new. 

The last that came was a mason, 
And his hammer it did want facing. 
His hammer it did want facing, 

To join the jovial crew. 
He rattled his mallet against the wall, 
He hoped the churches and steeple would fall. 
And then there would be work for all. 

When Joan's ale was new, my boys, 

When Joan's ale was new. 

It must be confessed that there is somewhat of a sameness 
about these songs. The allusions were probably local, and the 
meaning thereof as much lost as are those of Rabelais, or of Dean 
Swift in the great bulk of his political writings. 

Tinkers have always been notable for their drinking powers. 
There was Christopher Sly, who figures prominendy in the 
prologue to the '' Taming of the Shrew/' He went off into a 
drunken sleep, and woke up to find himself a duke. Still nature 
will out, and with his throat and mouth as dry as a limekiln, and 
the best of wines before him, he cried out, *' For God's sake, a 
pot of smallest ale ; " and, *' Once again, a pot of smallest ale." 
Sly drank small beer, as our ancestors the three-bottle men drank 
claret, as a sobering tipple, on the principle of taking a hair of the 
dog that bit you. 

^ So when two dogs are fighting in the streets. 
With a third dog one of the two dogs meets; 
With angry tooth he bites him to the bone. 
And this dog smarts for what that dog has done." 

Then again there was the needy knife-grinder, who had no story 
of political wrong to tell the philanthropist, except that he got 
drunk at the Chequers. Whereupon, as he had no political griev- 

Political. 1 5 1 

ance, the friend to humanity said he would ** see him damned 
before he gave sixpence to get a pot of ale/' or words to that 
effect. Then there was that noted tinker who entertained King 
James unawares. 

Here is a Yorkshire song of the same period, minus a few 
necessary excisions. 

Thb Praise of Hull Ale. 

Let's wet the whisde of the muse 
That sings the praise of every juice 
This house affords for mortal use; 

Which nobody can deny. 

Here's ale of Hull, which, 'tis well known, 
Kept King and Keyser out of town, 
Now it will never hurt the Crown ; 

Which nobody can deny. 

Here's Lambeth ale to cool the maw. 
And beer as spruce as e'er you saw, 
But mum as good as man can draw ; 

Which nobody can deny. 

Here's scholar that has doft his gown, 
And donn'd his cloak and come to town. 
Till all's up, drunk his college down ; 

Which nobody can deny. 

Here's North down, which in many a case 
Pulls all the blood into the face. 
Which blushing is a sign of grace; 

Which nobody can deny. 

Here's that by some bold brandy hight, 
Which Dutchmen use in case of fright. 
Will make a coward for to fight; 

Which nobody can deny. 

152 In Praise of Ale. 

Here's China ale surpaaseth far 
What Munden vents at Temple Bar, 
'Tis good for lords' and ladies' ware; 

Which nobody can deny. 

Here's of Efiom will not fox 

You more than what's drawn from the cocks 

Of NudMeioUf yet cures smallpox ; 

Which nobody can deny. 

For ease of heart, here's that will do't, 
A liquor you may have to boot. 
Invites you or the devil to't ; 

Which nobody can deny. 

Two reprints which follow, show the tricks of the trade as 
practised by two arrant rogues, and the result of closing the 
Houses on Sundays, as set forth in — 

The Lamentable Complaints of Nick Froth the Tapster, 

and rulerost the cooke, 

Concerning the restraint lately set forth against drinking, sotting, 
and piping on the Sabbath day, and against selling meate. 

Printed in the year 1641. 

Froth. My honest fnend, Cooke Ruffin, well met I pray thee, 
what good newes is stirring ? 

Cooh, Good newes, said you ? I, where is't ? There is such 
newes in the world will anger thee to heare of; it is as bad as 
bad may be. 

Froih. Is there so ? I pray thee what is it ? Tell me, what- 
soever it be. 

Cool, Have you not heard of the restraint lately come out 
against us from the higher powers, whereby we are commanded 
not to sell meate nor draw drink upon Sundays, as we will answer 
the countrary at our perils ? 

Political. 153 

Froth, I have heard that some such thing was intended to be 
done, but never before knew that it was under black and white. I 
hope there is no such matter. Art thou sure this thy newes 
is true? 

Cook, Am I sure I ever rosted a hi pig on a Sunday until 
they eyes dropt out, thinke you ? S' foot, shall I not credit my 
owne eyes ? 

Froth. I would thine had dropt out too before ever thou hadst 
seen this; and if this be your newes, you might have kept it, with 
a murrain to you. 

Cooi. Nay, why so chollerick, my friend ? You told me you 
would heare me with patience, whatsoever it were. 

Froth. I cry thee heartily mercy, honest Rulerost. I am sorry 
for what I said. It was my passion made me forget myself so 
much ; but I hope this command as you speake will not continue 
long. Will it, think you, Master Cooke ? 

Cook, Too long, to our grief, I feare. The church-wardens, 
sidemen, and constables will so look to our red lattices that 
we shall not dare to put our heads out of doors on a Sunday 
hereafter. What think you, neighbour, is it not like to 
prove so ? 

Froth. Truly it is much to be feared ; but what do you think 
will become of us then, if these times hold ? 

Cook. Faith, Master Froth, we must shut up our doors and 
hang padlocks on them, and never so much as take leave of our 

Froth, Master Rulerost, I jump with you in opinion, for if 
I tarry in my house till quarter-day, my landlord, I feare, will 
provide me a house gratis. I am very unwilling to trust him : 
he was always wonderfull kind, and ready to help any of his 
debtors to such a curtesie. To be plaine with you, I know not 
in which of the compters I shall keep my Christmas, if I doe not 
wisely, by running away, prevent him. 

Cook. Thou hast spoke my owne thoughts ; but I stand not 
so much in danger of my griping landlord as I doe of Master 
Killcalf, my butcher. I am run into almost halfe-a-year's arrer- 
ages with him ; I doe owe him near ninety pounds for meat. 

154 In Praise of Ale. 

which I have had of him at direre and sundry dinesy as by his 
tally may more at lai^e appeare. 

Froth. I royselfe am almost as bm in debt to my brewer as 
you are to your butcher : I had almost forgotten that. I see I 
am no man of this world if I tarry in England. He hath often 
threatened to make dice of my bones already, but ile prevent 
him : ile show him the bagge, I warrant him. 

Coot. He would rather you would show him the money and 
keep the bagge to yourselfe. 

Froth. I much wonder. Master Rulerost, why my trade 
should be put downe, it being so necessary m a Commonwealth. 
Why, the noble art of drinking, it is the soule of all good fellow- 
ship, the marrow of a poet's nervs, it makes a man as valiant as 
Hercules, though he were as cowardly as a Frenchman. Besides, 
I could prove it necessary for any man sometimes to be drunk ; 
for, suppose you should kill a man whan you are drunk, you shall 
never be hanged for it until you are sober : therefore I thinke it 
good for a man to be alwayes drunk. And, besides, it is the 
kindest companion and friendliest sin of all the seven ; for most 
sins leave a man by some accident or other before his death, but 
this will never forsake him till the breath be out of his body, and 
lastly a fiill bowle of stronge beere will drowne all sorrowes. 

Cook. Master Nick, you are mistaken, your trade is not put 
down, as you seeme to say : what is done is done to a good 
intent, to the end that poore men that worke hard all the weeke for 
a litde money should not spend it all on the Sunday while they 
should be at some church, and so consequently there will not be 
so many beggars. 

Froth. Alack ! you know all my profit doth arise onely upon 
Sundays ; let them but allow me that privilege, and abridge me 
all the weeke besides. SToot, I could have so scowred my 
young sparks up for a peny a demy can, or a halfispint, heapt 
with froth. I got more by uttering halfe a barrell in time of 
divine service then I could by a whole barrell at any other time, 
for my customers were glad to take anything for money and 
think themselves much ingaged to me; but now the case is 

PoUtical. 155 

Cook, Truly, Master Froth, you are a man of light con- 
stitution, and not so much to be blamed as I that am more solid. 
O I what will become of me ? I now thinke of the lusty sur- 
loins of roast beefe which I with much policy divided into 
innumerable company of semi-slices, by which, with my provident 
wife, I used to make eighteen-pence of tliat which cost me a 
groat (provided I sold it in service dme). I could tell you, too, 
how I used my half-cans and my Bloomesbury pots, when 
occasion served, and my smoak, which I sold dearer than any 
apothecary doth his ph3r8ic ; but those happy days are now past, 
and therefore no more of that. 

Froih. Well, I am rid of one charge which did continoally 
vex roe by this means. 

Cook. I pray thee what was that ? 

Froth. Why, Master Rulerost, I was wont to be in fee with 
the apparitors, because they should not bring me into the bawdy 
court for selling drink on Sundayes. He assure you they used 
to have a noble quarter of me, but now they shall excuse me — 
they are like to have no more quartridge of me ; and, indeed, 
the truth is their trade begins to be out of request as well as ours. 

Cook. I, trust me, neighbour, I pity them. I was as much 
troubled with those kind of rascals as yourself, onely I confesse 
I paid them no quartridge : but they tickled my beefe — a stone 
of beefe was no more in one of their bellies than a man in Paul's. 
But now I must take occasion to ease myself of that charge, and 
with con£dence I will now bad them *< Walke, knave, walke.'' 

Froth. Truly, Master Rulerost, it doth something ease my 
mind when I thinke that we have companions in misery. 
Authority^ I see, is quick-sighted ; it can quickly espie a hole 
in a knave's coate. But, Master Cooke, we forget ourselves ; 
it goweth neare supper time, and we must part. I would tell 
you what I intend to doe, but time prevents me : therefore ile 
refer it untill the next time we meet, and so farewell. 

The Complaints and Doings of Hop the Brewer and Kilcalfe 
the Butcher form a fitting sequel to those of Froth and Rulerost. 

156 In Praise of Ale. 

The Lameni'able Complaints of Hop the Brewer 


As they meet by chance in the Country, against the restraint 
lately set out by the Parliament, against Tapsters and 
Cookes: which hath caused them to cracke their credit, 
and to betake them to their heeles. 

Printed in the year 1641. 

Hop, What, neighbour Kilcalfe, who would have thought to 
meet you here. What good newes is there stirring in London, 
I pray, can you tell ? 

Kik. Newes, Mr Hop, there is great store, such as it is, but 
none, I am sure, that is good for you or me. 

Hfip. I hope, Mr Ocalfe, there is none will prove hurtfull 
for us. 

Kik. Yes, truly, neighbour, there is ill newes for us. 

Hop. I pray, my good friend, let me heare all the newes, what- 
soever it be. 

Kile. Why ! I will tell you, sir, since you are so inquisitive. 
There is a Bell (and one of the greatest in the town) lately ^ne 
finom Aldermary Church, and some say it is burst all in pieces. 

H(f. Well, sir, what can this hurt you or me ? But say this 
belle be broke, it may be new cast and hanged, and all will be well 

Kik. Vtry right, sir, and this may be done with little charge, 
and besides there are ropes provided already; there are three 
generous Vintners in the Parish that have promised to defray the 
whole charge. 

Hop. The Vintners may afford it, neighbour ; I hear they pay 
no tunnage now the wine Patent is put downe. But, pray, what is 
this newes you speake of? 

Ktlc. Why, have you not heard of the restraint that was lately 
set forth by the Parliament, wherby all Cookes and Tapsters and 
many other professions are forbidden to dress meat and draw 
drinke on Sundaies ? 

Hop. Indeed, I have heard that some such thing was intended. 

Political. 157 

but I never heard that it was in blacke and white untill this houre. 
I hope there is do such thiog ; is there, neighbour, are you sure ? 

KUc. Sure, say you ! Am I sure that ever I knockt down an 
oxe and cut his throat on a Sunday rooming, thinkc you ? S'foot, 
shall I not believe my owne eies : 

Hop. I would they had beene out, so thou had'st not lived to 
see this chance. 

Kik. Nay, now, neighbour, I must tell you, you are somewhat 
too bitter ; did you not promise to heare me whatsoever it were, 
and seeing you are so hot, farewell. 

Hop. Nay, good neighbour, suy, I cry thee heartily mercy. 
It was my passion which made me so much forget myself; but if 
this be true. 

KUc. There is no ifs, 'tis true, as I tell you. 

-^Hop. What, then, will become of us ? 

KUc. Truely, I know not. Wee must e'en shut up our doores, 
and never so much as take leave of our Landlordsi 

Hop. As I am an honest man, you and I are both of a minde. 
You have spoke my owne thoughts, for I am sure if I tarry till 
quarter-day, my Landlord will provide me a house gratis. I 
should bee very unwilling to accept of his kindnesse, and hee to 
my knowledge was alwaies very forward to do such a curtesie to 
the worst debter he ever had. 

KUc. Truely, Master Hop^ I am not so much ingaged to my 
Landlord for his love, as you to yours ; but this I am sure, there 
is a grazier dwelling in this part that hath my hand (downe upon 
a piece of sheepskin), not for my honesty, but for some certain 
money which I owe him, and if I don't wisely prevent him, I 
know not which of the counters I am like to keepe my 
Christmas in. 

Hop, I pray. Master Kilcafe, can you prevent him ? 

KUc. Why, He show him the bag. He run man ; dost under- 
stand me? 

Hop. Yes, very well, but I believe that hee had rather you 
would show him his money, and then he would understand you. 

KUc, But by his favour he shall not understand nor stand under 
any nx>ney of mine, if I can keep it from him. 

158 In Praise of Ale. 

Hop. But, I pray, tell me, how came you so much in debt \ 
Did you use to trust your customers for your meat \ I believe 
you deal with them for ready moDey, did you not ? 

ICtk. Truely, sir, I was forced to trust sometimes when my 
customers had not money to pay mee. There was one. Master 
Ruk'rostf a Cooke, that owed me almost a hundred pounds, who 
no sooner heard of this strict comnumd agamst selling of meat on 
SundayeSy but he hanged a padlocke on the doore and away went 
Pilgarlicke. I cannot heare of my gentleman since his departure, 
nor doe I ever looke to receive my money now. 

Hop. NoWy why not now ? 

KUc. Because I doe never looke to see him againe. But put the 
case he should ever come againe, hee would never bee able to pay 
mee without he were suftred to sell meate on Sundayes in service 

Hop. Why ? Is it impossible for cookes to get money on the 
weeke daies ? I know no reason but why they may aa well as on 
the Sundayes. 

Kik. Yes, sir, 'tis very possible, but I will tell you what I have ' 
observed in some of these Cookes. You should have a Cooke that 
upon Sundaies would dresse twice so much meat as upon any other 
day, and sell it three times as deare ; for, sir, hb doore shall stand 
open all the service time, and anybody may be suftred to come in 
(the Churchwardens excepted), and he that calls for any of his 
rosted beefe, hath it weighed to him by the ounce, or at least one 
would thinke it so by the thine slices, which hec with much 
pollicy carveth from the spit ; and so by his pollicy he will make 
you eighteene pence of that which (on any other day) he 
would take eightpence for, and greete you with a welcome into 
the bargaine. But those daies are now past, and therefore I 
despaire of ever seeing my money. 

Hop. I am just in your case. Did you not know Nkk Froth the 
Tapster at the Bell ? He was a man that used his customers as 
your cook used his, for in service time on Sundaies you should 
have him draw his beere out at a penny a demy can, or a halfe 
pint ; besides, the willy knave had an excellent Acuity in frothing. 
He would get as much in drawing half a barrell on a Sunday as 

Political. 159 

he should by a whole barrell on any other day; and for his 
Indian unoake, he sold that as deare as apothecaries doe their 
arabergreese. I, seeing him in this hopefiile thriving way, trusted 
him with a hundred and fifty barreUs of beere, in hope (though) 
that I should have had my money before this time, but he being 
debarred of this privilidge, I utterly despaire of pajrment, and so 
by this and many other such like debters^ I am like to be undone, 
and therefore He not stay in England. 

Kile, Then let us both return to London and gather up as many 
of our debts as we can, to beare our charges in our journey. If 
we can but once get crosse the great pond, wee may with con- 
fidence outface our creditors. Our daies of payment draw neere, 
therefore let us make good use of our time that we have to tarry. 

Come leCs anoay^ and if the wind sets right ^ 
Week he ai Dover by to-morrow night. 

The reaction which set in when Charles II. returned, is shewn 
by the following song from Mr Chappell's Collection : — 

The Restoration. 

Come, come away. 

To the Temple and pray. 
And sing with a pleasant strain ; 

The schismatick's dead, 

The liturgy's read. 
And the King enjoys his own again. 

The vicar is glad. 

The clerk is not sad. 
And the parish cannot refrain 

To leap and rejoice 

And lift up their voice 
That the King enjoys his own again. 

The next merry medley, of which there are two versions pub- 
lished in 1 686, is in a similar strain : 

1 60 In Praise of Ale, 

Part I. 

The Jew's Corant. 

Let's call and drink the cellar dry, 
There's nothing sober underneath |he sky ; 
The greatest kingdoms in confusion lye ; 
Since all the world goes mad, why may not I ? 

My father's dead and I am free. 

He left no children in the world but me ; 

The devil drink him down with usury. 

And I'll repine in liberality. 

When first the English war began. 

He was precisely a politick man, 

That gain'd his state by sequestration, 

Till Oliver began 

To come with sword in hand and put him to the run. 

Then jovial lads who are undone 

So by the father, come home to the son, 

Whom ale and musick wait upon, let's tipple up a tun 

And drink your woes away ; jolly hearts, come on/ come on. 


A New Country Dance. 

From the Loyal Garland, 1686. 

No drayman shall vnxh his dull feet appear 

Lord in the Common-weal, 
Or Jesuit in the pulpit appear 

Under a cloak of zeal ; 
Musicians never be noted 

For wandering men of ease. 
But they shall be finely coated, 

And permitted to sing what they please : 
If all things do but hit well, — 

Who knows but so't may be ? 
Though now you be very zealous, 

Then you'll laugh and be merry as wc. 

Political. i6i 

Tay]or» the Water Poet, was one of the most prolific writers 
on beer and its associations, and a staunch loyalist. At one time 
during his varied career, he kept a public house during the Crom- 
wellian era, and put up the sign of the King's head. On being 
advised that it was unsafe, though patriotic, he took down the 
King's, and put up his own head, with the motto — 

" There's many a head stands for a ngn, 
Then, gentle reader, why not mine ? " 

One of the most exaggerated forms of loyalty occurs in the 
«Vade Mecum for Malt Worms," anent the King's head in 
Cbiswell Street, which was a guide to the principal "pubs" 
and their <* props," or best supporters. I take the date of this 
anonymous work to be, from internal evidence, about the time 
of Queen Anne. 

** England's bless'd Martyr's Head next claims our call, 
A house that rises by that monarch's fall ; 
Kept by a man, who, though his name is Meade, 
A name distinguished by a factious breed, 
Detests the UooJy crew that caused that impious deed. 
Faithful to Felt — man's and to Dold — 's cause, 
He accounts as justly as he justly draws. 
In both capacities of clerk and host. 
True to the duties and his double post ; 
Since none can better keep his Martyr's Book, 
None better after his own business look. 
And though a tap-house, every place is clean. 
Good usage and good liquors flow within. 
Here Br — wn, the Cooper to the Brewhouse near. 
By drinking shows this ken excels for Beer : 
Here Johnny Sm— d, whose taste has oft been try'd. 
Quart after quart with all the tribe beside. 
That wait upon the boiler or the dray. 
Spend all the vacant hours by night and day ; 
So there's no doubt, but where the Brewers come, 
Good drink must freight that hospitable Dome, 
For Grocer eats himself no rotten plumb." 


1 6 2 In Praise of Ale. 

At n later date, ))arty feeling ran high between the Jacobites 
and Anti-Jacobiteiy the forerunners of the Whigs and Tories. 
I take it that the following extract from a Mughouse song refers 
to the Young Pretender. The song itself appeared in " Killy 
Crankey's Garland." The Mughouse clubs became each one 
a political centre, with this great difierence, that in the loyal 
set the King's health was drunk openly ; in the other, the King 
was toasted surreptitiously ^ over the water.'' 

" We friends of the Mug are met here to discover 
Our zeal to the Protestant House of Hanover, 
Against the attempts of a bigotted Rover; 
Which nobody can deny. 

*' Prepare then in bumpers confusion to drink 
To their cursed devices who otherwise think, 
For now that vile interest must certainly sink ; 
Which nobody can deny. 

** The Tories, 'tis true, are yet skulking in shoals, 
To show their affection to Perkih in Bowls; 
But in time we will ferret them out of their holes; 
Which nobody can deny. 

** So their Hero himself in Camp once appears. 
Created sham Bishops, sham Knights, and sham Peers, 
Then scampers away like a child all m tears; 
Which nobody can deny. 

** If such was his conduct before any battle, 
Such had be in Council but heard our Mugs rattle, 
'Twould have spoil'd his long speeches, and ended his prattle ; 
Which nobody can deny. 

*' Now we'll laugh at the Brat and all his dull tools. 
Who thought us such sinners as well as such fools. 
As to part with a King who so gloriously rules ; 
Which nobody can deny. 

Political, 163 

" He's a true faith's defender we have on the throne. 
And so well his valour thro' Europe is known, 
Not a potenute dares his base enemy own ; 
Which nobody can deny. 

M Let's still then stand fast by Religion and Laws, 
In spight of High Church and Popish Jackdaws, 
Nor fear of success, 'tis George and his Cause; 
Which nobody can deny.*' 

Here b another extract in the same bitter strain : — 

** When Englbh fashions did prevail. 
We all agreed on drinking ale. 
Such strength we were unto this land 
That hosts of foes could not withstand; 
Vain fashion'd folks reverse inclin'd, 
Who Popish liquors seem'd to find, 
Such traitorous knaves are Britain's foes, 
Ere long you see them near great toes. 
Nay, sooner than forsake that liquor. 
You'll see them bend to kiss the slipper." 

Beer, politics, and loyalty have, however, always been closely 
allied. The Rev. Mr Bromston's lines on the art of politics, 
written in 1751, are still applicable. 

** Not long since parish clerks with saucy airs 
Apply'd King David's psalms to State affairs; 
Some certain tunes to politics belong — 
On both sides drunkards love a party song. 

" To speak is free, no member is debarr*d, 
But funds and national accounts are hard ; 
Safer on common topics to discourse — 
The malt tax and a military force — 
On these each coflfee-house will lend a hint. 
Besides a thousand things that arc in print* 

" When the duke's grandson for the county stood. 
His beef was fa and his October good, 

L a 

164 In Praise rf Ale. 

His lordship took each ploughman by the fist. 
Drunk to their sons — their wiTes and daughters kiss'd ; 
But when strong beer their frce-bom hearts inflames, 
They sell him bargains and they call him names ; 
Thus is it deemed in English nobles wise 
To stoop for no one reason but to rise." 

PepySy in his diary, gives a second-hand account of some 
election drinks : — 

"Sept, 28th, 1667. — After dinner comes Sir F to me 

about business, he telling me romantic lies of himself and family, 
how they have been parliament men for Grimsby, he and his fore- 
fathers, this 1 40 years, and his father is now ; and himself at this 
day stands for the borough with his father by the death of his 
fellow-burgess, and that he believes it will cost him as much as it 
did his predecessor, which was ;^ 300 in ale and jQ^2 in buttered 
ale, which I believe is one of his devilish lies." 

The old gossip did not drop a tear as he wrote the above, in 
order to blot it out for ever. 

One incident that gave rise to an immense deal of feeling 
throughout the country occurred in 1850, on the occasion of 
General Haynau's visit to Messrs Barclay 5c Perkin's brewery, 
when the General got well trounced by the sturdy draymen and 
had to cut and run. The incident almost caused an open rupture 
between the Cabinets of Vienna and Downing Street, but Lord 
Palmerston was equal to the occasion. When the Austrian 
Government demanded the surrender and delivery of all the men 
who were concerned in the assault, Lord Palmerston replied that 
the English law courts were open to the Austrian general, but he 
would have to come over here to identify his assailants. The 
General declined the invitation. The episode was celebrated in 
a Catnach ballad, which was very popular at the time. 

General Haynau and Barclay & Perkins' Draymen.'*^ 

Good people, pay attention, pray, 
Just now to what I have to say, 

* Birt, Printer, 39 Gt. St Andrew's Street, 7 DUU, London. 

Political. i6s 

Of what was done the other day, 

By Barclay & Perkins' Draymen. 
There was a chief well-known to fame, 
General Haynau was his name, 
Who a tyrant's favour sought to gain 
By causing grievous sorrow and pain. 
By blood and slaughter, fire and sword. 
He did commend his Cossack horde. 
Till Freedom's blood like water pour'd ; 

Sing Barclay & Perkins' Draymen. 

Hit him, kick him up and down, 

Box him, knock him round and round. 

Out of his hat break the crown. 

Cried Barclay & Perkins' Draymen. 

When fair Hungary prostrate lay 
Beneath a tyrant's despot sway. 
And many moum'd the fatal day; 

Oh ! Barclay & Perkins' Draymen. 
Her bravest sons he put to death. 
Her fairest women by the lash 
Had their flesh cut from living flesh ! 
While freedom to the earth was dash'd, 
By this monster man in human shape. 
But you shall quickly know his fate, 
He got his desert at any rate. 

From Barclay & Perkins' Draymen. 
Hit him, etc. 

One day he went to have a stare. 
At where we English brew our beer, 
And met a warm reception there. 

From Barclay & Perkins' Draymen. 
Out on the tyrant all did cry ; 
How you would laugh to see htm fly. 
To cut his lucky he did try, 

1 66 In Praise of Ale. 

But 80O0 found out 'twas all my eye. 
One collared him by his moustache. 
And one with mud his hct did wash, 
Another roil'd him in the slush, 
Did Barclay & Perkins' Draymen. 
Hit him, etc. 

One let down upon his head 
Straw enough to make his bed, 
One pulled his nose till it was red. 

Did Barclay 5c Perkins' Draymen. 
Then out of the gate he did run. 
And now there was some precious fun, 
A rotten egg he got from one, 
For all did cry — ^yes, every one, 
To show how we loved such a brute. 
Who women flogged, and men did shoot. 
For trying tyranny to uproot. 

Oh ! Barclay & Perkins' Draymen. 
Hit him, etc. 


At length he found a place to hide. 

All at the George by Banksidc, 

But not till they'd well-tann'd his hide, 

Barclay 6c Perkins' Draymen. 
Let this to tyrants a lesson be, 
Not to crush fair liberty. 
Or like Hajrnau they'll have to flee 
And not get off so well as he 1 
Then for Barclay's men we'll give a cheer, 
May they h*ve long to brew our beer. 
And from their masters nothing fear, 

Barclay & Perkins' Draymen. 
Hit him, etc. 


The incidents of taxation on malt, hops, and beer have always 
been a sore point to the brewers, and indirectly the public, of 

PoliticaL 167 

course, who ane afiected thereby. In 1791 9 an impoiit of two 
shillings per quarter was put on mult, and this Act led to a great 
anomaly in the taxation of beer. Mr Flower, a brewer of Hert- 
ford, came forward as the champion of the trade at this time, 
and enlisted Lord Loughborough in the cause. His Lordship 
denounced the Bill in good set terms from his seat in the House. 
** Let their lordships look back to the low eleemosynary, and 
yet most oppressive measure of finance, to which, for his last 
project of ambition, the minister had recourse — an attack on the 
wholesome beverage of the yeomanry, of that large and valuable 
description of persons who, without disparagement to the manu- 
facturers, were of more consequence to the country than any 
other part. Thus their vigour was to be destroyed, their com- 
forts withdrawn.'' 

Mr Flower in another place followed suit, and incidentally 
gave high medical testimony on behalf of Beer : — 

" Could I have obliged the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with 
his Budget Committee, to have visited the cotuge of the labourer, 
who had but just survived the dangers of those dreadful epidemic 
disorders which have been so fatally prevalent during the last 
year, which have threatened to bury us in one grave, and which 
the faculty have declared were occasioned by low living, pre- 
scribing for such patients the strongest ale that could be procured. ** 

Certainly we are not worried so much in detail as our grand- 
fathers were, as the following verses show ; but still taxation is 
vexation, nevertheless, and I trust that no fresh inquisitorial 
imposition on beer will be made : — 

*' We pay for our soap and our salt. 

For cyder, for brandy, for beer ; 
We pay for our mum and our malt, 

And excise makes our leather so dear ; 
We are forced to jiay for light. 

Which our windows afford by day ; 
And we pay for our candles by night — 

All which we most willing obey. 

i68 In Praise of Ak. 

** But may that devil Exciae 

For the future never enter our doors, 
Nor with his mischievout eyes 

Pry into our Christmas stores. 
Send him home to hell, whence he came. 

And there Jet him howl till doomsday; 
Oh, never hereafter him name, 

For the honour of Sir John Kaye/' 

William IV., c. 51 (July 16, 1850), repealed some of the 
vexatious restrictions on ale and malt, and reduced the dudes. 
This act on his part gave rise to the following burst of loyalty, 
in the form of a very fiivourite song, written by a gentleman 
who rejoiced in the appropriate name of Barclay Perkins, and 
published by Messrs Brewer & Co., of Bishopsgate Street. 

I Likes a Drop of Good Bber, I Does. 

Come, neighbours all, both great and small. 
Let's perform our duties here, 

And loudly sing, Long live the king, 
For bating the tax on beer: 
For I likes a little good beer; 

And loudly sing. Long live the king. 
For bating the tax on beer. 

Some people think distill-e-ry drink 

Is wholesome, neat, and sheer ; 
But I will contend to my life's end. 

There's nothing to tipple like beer: 

For I likes a little good beer ; 
And I will contend, to my life's end. 

There's nothing to tipple like beer. 

Brandy and gin blows out the skin. 
And makes one feel very queer ; 

Political. 169 

But whenever I puts them into my stomach 

I always wishes 'twas beer : 

For I likes a little good beer; 
But whenever I puts them into my stomach 

I always wishes 'twas beer. 

From drinking rum the maggots come, 

And bowel pains appear; 
But I alwajTS find both cholic and wind 

Are driven away by beer: 

For I likes a little good beer ; 
But I always find that cholic and wind 

Arc driven away by beer. 

Moll, if I choose, reads out the news 

With voice both firm and clear, 
While I eats my tripe, and smokes my pipe. 

And drinks my gallon of beer: 

For I likes a little good beer ; 
While I eats my tripe, and smokes my pipe, 

And drinks my gallon of beer. 

At the public-house they used to chouse. 

Which qiused me many a tear ; 
But the new beer shops seU malt and hops. 

And that's the right stuff to make beer: 

For I likes a little good beer; 
But the new beer shops sell malt and hops. 

And that's the right stuff to make beer; 

For I likes a little good beer. 

Of all things thirst I counts the worst, 

And always stands in fear; 
So when I goes out I carries about 

A little pint bottle of beer: 

For I likes a little good beer; 
So when I goes out I carries about 

A little pint bottle of beer; 

For I likes a little good beer. 

r 70 In Praise of Ale, 

'Twixt wet and dry I always try 

From the extremes to steer; 
And tho' I've shrunk from getting dead drunk, 

I've always been fond of my beer: 

For I likes a little good beer; 
And tho' Tve shrunk from getting dead drunk, 

I've always been fond of my beer; 

For I likes a little good beer. 

Let ministers shape the duty on Cape, 

And ordain that port shall be dear; 
But dam their eyes if ever they tries 

To rob a poor man of his beer; 

For I likes a little good beer; 
But darn their eyes if ever they tries 

To rob a poor man of his beer; 

For I likes a drop of good beer. 

In ** Tom Brown's Schooldays," Mr Tom Hughes describes 
this song as having been a great favourite with the Rugby boys, 
by whom it was duly honoured on Saturday nights, when a double 
allowance of ale was dealt out to them. 

During the Russian troubles, a war-tax of i|d. per bushel, 
and 5 per cent., was imposed in 1854-5, and the brewers had in 
consequence to charge an additional six shillings per barrel, in 
order to recoup themselves. This step gave rise to a burst of 
indignation, and Punch and other journals took up their parable 
on the occasion. The following specimens show the state of 
public feeling thirty years ago. Punch led off with 

Music, Malt, and Hops. 

Messrs Bass & Co., the teetotallers will be glad to hear, have 
published a circular in the name of the Burton pale ale brewers, 
announcing the intention of raising the price of their beer by 6s. 
per cask. This concert among the brewers, with a Bass for a 
leader, exhibits some novelties in harmony. The Bass rises 
instead of descending in the scale of price, and by thus increasing 

Political. 1 7 1 

in height will, strange to say, reach up to double Bass. One 
more step will raise it to treble Bass ; but that will be a contra- 
diction in terms, and absolutely ridiculous. 

This was followed by the following effusion in the same 
issue: — 

The Lover's Farewell to Pale A.le. 

Farewell, my bright, my brisk, my pale, 

I cannot say my sweet, 
For thou art bitter, oh, my ale ! 

With hops, I trust, replete. 

Henceforth thou art estranged from me ; 

And dost thou ask me why ? 
Thou wilt not suit my low degree, 

Since thou hast got so high. 

It was not wise to raise thee so, 

'Tis what thou wilt not bear; 
Better had thou been brought more low. 

And made " not jiale but fair." 

Go travel o'er the ocean brine, 

To grace some Nabob's cup 5 
Thy figure will not do for mine, 

So I must give thee up. 

With chamomile the goblet fill, 

The cold infusion pour; 
ril quafTthe dose, the draught I'll swill, 

And sigh for thee no more ! 

The attack commenced by Punch was followed up by 
Diogenes : — 

The Rise in Ale : A Bitter Wail. 

By our Bottle^Nosed Contributor. 

Ye brewers hale, of bitter ale, who live at home in clover. 

On whose mild trash no tippler rash could e'er get half seas over ; 

1 72 In Praise of Ale. 

How dare ye overshoot the mark, by trying (venturous task ! ) 
To make a double-barrellM charge for every single cask ? 

'Tis surely hard enough that some, to mitigate their drought, 
Must dose themselves with bitter ale, though they are sweet on 

Then, why up starts — to sour them and aggravate their blues — 
From " Burton," this " anatomy of melancholy " news ? 

Imprudent Bass! why thus forsake the tenor of thy way ? 
Or why should die a tonic scale of charges we can pay \ 
Who now, in prospect of long bills, a beaker full would drink ? 
Thy " Dr. and per contra," Bass— oh, dear, how they will shrink. 

And ye, too, AUsopps — sloppy firm 1 whose beer some folks define 
To he a tasteless compound, until flavoured with strychnine ; 
You soon may find it will not pay — the advertising rig : 
Your statements may be deem'd big lies, though backed by a 

Ye lovers of the hop, a pretty dance ye will be led, 

Should ye resign your ** bitter," to find some new drink instead. 

Whate'er ye choose can scarce be worse, e'en though 'twere 

For sure the very name of ** pale " suggests the thought of slop. 

Ye brewers hale, of bitter ale, who live at home in clover. 
Quick knuckle under, or with ye it soon will be all-over ; 
Your Allsopp's days of glory like a fabrication seem, 
And Bass's golden visions ^ baseless fabrics of a dream." 

Beer! Boys, Beer! 
-^ir—" Cheer, boys ! cheer!" 

Beer ! boys, beer I no more absurd restriction. 
Courage, Bass, Meux, and Barclay must give way ; 

Half-pints and quarts have vanish'd like a fiction, 
Why, then, submit to the brewers' despot sway ? 

Political. 1 73 

Brown stout of England ! much as wc niay love thee, 

(Which, by the way, I rather think we do,) 
Pale draught of India ! shall they charge us for thee 
Twice what you're worth, for the profit of a few ? 
Beer ! boys, beer ! abundant, deep, and vasty ! 

Beer ! boys, beer ! the stunning, strong, and grand ! 
Beer I boys, beer ! the cheap, and not the nasty ! 
Beer ! boys, beer ! at a price a man can stand ! 

Beer ! boys, beer ! the present scale of prices 

Leads to a style of tipple not the best ; 
Vile Spanish root, and quassia, which not nice is. 

Bad for the bile, and oppressive for the chest. 
But, let's unite with hearty agitation, 

Push for our rights, and battle might and main ; 
And ours shall be a large and brimming tankard 

Of real wholesome stuff, brew'd out of roasted grain. 
Beer ! boys, beer ! no more of gentian's nausea ; 

Beer ! boys, beer ! with liquorice away ; 
Beer ! boys, beer ! no logwood chips or quassia ; 
Beer ! boys, beer ! — which is all I have to say ! 

A " Bitter " Remonstrance. 

Oh ! Mr Bass ! a pretty pass 

Of things we've come to here, 
When shillings six you further fix 

Upon the cask of beer. 
We thought that you and Allsopp too 

Sufficient gains did clear. 
When pennies four we paid you for 

A pint of bitter beer. 

When'foreign tongues suspicions flung 

Upon your malt and hops, 
And dark hints brought of strychnine bought 

In murderous chemists' shops, 

1 74 In Praise of Ale. 

We by you stood, and swore that good 
And wholesome was youi* cheer.; 

To help your trade^ a quart we made 
Our pint of bitter beer. 

That storm pass'd by, we heard a cry, 

Through England growing loud, 
Of strikes for pay (which leads away 

Too oft the labouring crowd). 
We smiled on those whose prices rose, 

And thought we had no fear 
Augmented we in price should see 

Our pint of bitter beer. 

But, Mr Bass ! if thus your class 

Our olden love repay. 
Well show you how at *' striking " now 

The public, now* can play. 
Until the rate you shall abate 

Well throw you in the rear. 
And half-in-half in place we'll quaff 

Of pints of bitter beer. 

A "Stave" for Bass & Co. 

Bass ! whose &me is based on beer ; 
Bass 1 whose name is known where'er 
Britons hold your nectar dear — 

Thirst assuaging pleasantly. 
Now you make our cheeks grow pale 1 
Now we read you've " raised " your ale ! 
Brew'd at Burton, where the sale 

PPaps will lessen presently. 

What though malt and hops are high ! 
What though staves are dear to buy ! 
Once, when cheapness was the cry. 
Did you lower speedily ? 

Political. 175 

In your vau there's mischief brewing ! 
In your casks there may be ruin ! 
If you're bent on still pursuing 
Shillings six so greedily. 

By the Thames' discolour'd tide. 
By the Ganges rolling wide, 
By the rocky gully's side. 

Shout, ye Saxons, thrillingly ! 
** No advance on pennies four ! 
Quite enough we gave before ! 
Bitter beer we'll drink no more, 

Bass and Allsopp, willingly." 

Here is another comparative song from the same source, but 
not so laudatory, though it conve]^ a moral : — 

Beer: A Voice from the Crowds 

The minister's tax 

On the housekeepers' backs 
Was a sell and a sham severe ; 

And " their tea be blowed ! " 

But they certainly showed 
Some very good notions on beer. 
For we likes a drop of good beer, 
And it's hard to get at — that's clear; 

So many combines, 

In their various lines. 
To rob a poor man of his beer. 

Says Jerry to me, 

T'other day, says he, 
" There's a very good shop round here." 

** Jerry,' says I, 

'* My whistle is dry, 
I wote as we has some beer." 

1 76 In Praise of Ale. 

So says we — •* A pot of good beer;** 
But they dniw'd us summut so queer. 
That a cove no more 
Could ha' bolted a door 
Than swallowed such stuff for beer. 

** Landlord,'' says I, 
With a face all wry, 

" What do you call this here?" 
"Gents," says he, 
'' It's a pot of what we 

Serve out as the werry best beer ; 

But it's hard to get at good beer, 

For the brewer sells it so dear, 
And the rents is so high, 
That "— <« In feet," says I, 

" You rob a poor man of his beer." 

Says Jerry to me, 

" We must live," say he, 
^ To make the expenses clear ! 

They doctor it up, 

So I vote for a cup 
Of summut instead of beer, 
For anything's better than beer." 
*< Jerry," say I, "hear, hear!" 

So a quartern we had. 

And it wasn't so bad, 
As it took off the taste of the beer. 

Jerry and me 

Got making free. 
Both on us got very queer, 

Which neither a one 

Would ever ha' done 
If they'd given us wholesome beer. 
For the want of a drop of good beer 

Political. 177 

Drives lou to tipples more dear ; 

And they licks their wives. 

And destrojTS their Jives, 
Which they would not ha' done upon beer. 

This war-tax was repealed in 1856, when the public again 
rejoiced in cheap beer. 

History repeats itself, and the attempt in 1885 to raise the 
Exchequer by a tax of two shillings per barrel was disastrous 
to the Government The announcement of the intentioos of the 
Chancellor gave rise to a popular burst of indignation. One of 
the cleverest is the following parody on Lord Tennyson's rhapsody, 
written by the versatile writer who assumes the name of 
« Dagonet ^ xnThe Rrferee. I am indebted to the courtesy of 
Mr Henry Sampson for permission to reprint the lines, which 
were prophetic. 

Thi Bieiu 

Not from Tra^igar's Bay, where Nelson fought. 
But where round Nelson's base, in iron wrought. 
The lions lie' and watch and guard and wait — 
There was the Lion's roar upraised of late. 

Proud sutesmen, ye who hear the thunderous burst, 
Know ye with what the Lion slakes his thirst. 
Far to your halls is borne the mighty cheer; 
The Lion thirsts — you've robbed him of his beer ! 

O, you — if you've fiuled to understand 
That beer is dear throughout our sea-girt land. 
You — you shall be that roaring Lion's prey — 
Be wise in time and take the tax away. 

History has a knack of repeating itself in many ways. In 
1854 or 1855, the then Lord Robert Grosvenor passed an Act 
for closing public-houses all the day on Sundays. Public feeling 
rose high on the occasion, as Lord Grosvenor's windows bore 
witness to, and after a time the Act was repealed and the present 

1 78 In Praise tf Ale, 

tomewhat reaaooable hoars for opening and clotiog were imposed. 
A similar moyement b now set on foot by a certain section who 
decline to be taught by experience, or to learn the future from 
the past of man. 

The wording of one portion of the licensing Act gave rise to 
a number of jokes at the time. Here is one, the best of its 
class: — 

Allowed to be Drunk on the Premises. 

By John Labern. 

Of all the strange bills that they've pass'd 

To make people act with propriety, 
They've manag'd to make one at last, 

That is causing some fiin in society. 
For in every street you go through. 

Lane, alley, or any such crevices. 
Each beer-shop writes up full in view, 

^ Allowed to be drunk on the premises." 

The people they all must agree, 

Tho' so much has been talk'd of concerning it, 
A better law never could be. 

For in fiict they're now daily confirming it. 
What uuU can that man have, oh deur ! 

Who this Act say a wish to condemn is his, 
He can't know what wirtue's in beer; 

Tf he did not get drunk on the premises. 

What a good set of trumps they must be. 

In the house all the slim and the crummy ones. 
At the same time I'll own and agree. 

That there's some of them reg'lar rummy ones, 
But I means all those radical chaps. 

Wot gloriously made it their businesses. 
To wote for them beer-drinking acts, 

Allowed to get drunk on the premises. 

Political. 1 79 

Talk about legislation and tliat. 

Why, I'm almost asham'd to be naming it. 
They really can't know what they're at 

So I'll in a few words be explaining it. 
Five shillings if groggy you're found 

To fine you they say it their business is, 
Altho' by the Act you're bound 

To stay and get drunk on the premises. 

Some M.P.'s I daresay tried hard. 

Against others such a bill carrying, 
From us they've all comfort debarred 

But one, that's the pleasure of marrying. 
But I'm sure they've no cause to talk. 

For they all on the sly keep their mistresses. 
They sits with 'em drawing their cork. 

And I warrants gets drunk on the premises. 

For landlords it's all werry well, 

We needn't do as they tell us now ; 
That gemman wot keeps the Blue Bell 

Not half enough drink will he sell us now. 
I told him, say I, we're well back'd 

And your conduct, sir, very remiss is. 
For we're by this Parliament Act, 

Allowed to get drunk on the premises. 

A word or two more I must say. 

Before I my song can be finishing. 
To all those who woted that day, 

Our cares and sorrows diminishing. 
Towards something round Til be proud. 

To be part for I think it my business is, 
To drink all their healths wot allowed 

Us all to be drunk on the premises. 

M 2 

t8o In Praise of Ale, 

After 90 much controyersial matter, a loyal and peaceable song 
will restore harmony. 


Let Whig and Tory all agree 

To spend the nicht wi' mirth and glee." 

He&b's a Health to all Honest Men. 

Ev'ry man take his glass in his hand. 

And drink a good health to our Queen ; 
Many years may she rule o'er this land, 

May her laurels for ever be green. 
Let wrangling and jangling straitway cease, 
Let every roan strive for his country's peace. 

Neither Tory nor Whig, 

With their parties look big, 
Here's a health to all honest men. 

'Tis not owning a whimsical name. 

That proves a man loyal and just. 
Let him fight for his country's fame, 

Be impartial at home, if in trust. 
'Tis this that proves him an honest soul. 
His health we'll drink in a brimful bowl, 

Then let's leave off debate. 

No confusion create, 
Here's a health to all honest men. 

When a company's honestly met. 

With intent to be merry and gay; 
Their drooping spirits to whet. 

And drown the fatigues of the day, 
What madness it is thus to dispute. 
When neither side can this man confute. 

When you've said what you dare, 

You're but just where you are. 
Here's a health to all honest men. 

Political. 1 8 i 

Then, agree, ye true Britons agree, 

And ne'er quarrel, 'bout '* what's in a name," 
Let your enemies tremblingly see. 

That an Englishman's always the same. 
For our Queen, Laws, our Church, and our right. 
Let heart and hand in the good cause unite, 

Then who need care a fig, 

Who's a Tory or Whig, 
Here's a health to all honest men. 

Though a little out of place, we may as well fill this chapter 
with an account of the manner in which Sir Roger De Coverley 
kept up the Christmas, and, doubtless, other seasonable rejoicings, 
in Queen Anne's time. 

Sir Roger, after the laudable custom of his ancestors, always 
keeps open house on Christmas. I learned from him, says a 
writer in the Spectator of 17 1 2, that he had killed eight fat hogs 
for this season ; that he had dealt about his chines very liberally 
among his neighbours, and that in particular he had sent a string 
of hogs' puddings with a pack of cards to every poor family in 
the parish. 

**I have often thought," says Sir Roger, "it happens very 
well that Christmas should fall out in the middle of winter. It 
is the most dead, uncomfortable time of the year, when the poor 
people would suffer very much from their poverty and cold if 
they had not good cheer, warm fires, and Christmas gambols to 
support them. I love to rejoice their poor hearts at this season 
and to see the whole village merry in my great hall. 

** I allow a double quantity of malt to my small beer, and set 
it a running for twelve days for every one that calls for it I 
have always a piece of cold beef and a mince pie upon the table, 
and am wonderfully pleased to see my tenants pass away a whole 
evening in playing their innocent tricks and smutting one 

I 82 



" In harvest time, harvest folke^ servants and off. 
Should mahe aitt^ether good cheer in the haff, 
And Jill out the black bowl, so bBthe be their song. 
And let them be merry all harvest time long J* 

— TussER. 

Hat Harvest, Sheep-shearing, and the grand climacteric of the 
year, Harvest Home, were always occasions of rejoicing, when 
master and men jobdy celebrated their victory over the stubborn 
forces of nature, when the fruits of their painful labours in 
ploughing, sowing, reaping, and mowing, were safely garnered. 
These songs are all intensely characterisdc of the rural life of 
our ancestors, and the manners and customs which then prevailed. 
Of this class of songs there is a good variety. The labour 
which was lightened by song always culminated in a feast. 
*'A merry heart goes all the day, the sad one tires in a 
mile 'a." 

The harvest labourers and ploughmen lightened the monotony 
of their labours with singing, ''The curly-headed ploughboy, 
he whistled o'er the lea." Those with a light heart made 
their plough go lighter, and whilst they used the solace of their 
natural instruments, both quickened themselves and encouraged 
their labouring team. Harvest labourers are invariably associated 
with merriment and rejoicing, both in real life and the drama. 
In Peele's *«01d Wife's Tale," 1571, the following speech is 
made on their appearance : — 

'' Oh, these are the harvest men, ten to one they sing a song 
of mowing." However, they vary the song with 

" Lo here we come, a-sowing, a-sowing." 

Harvest Songs. 1 83 

And later on : — 

*^ So here we come a-reaping, a-reaping» 
To reap our harvest fruit ! 
And thus we pass the year so along. 
And never be we route." 

In Nashe's " Summer^s Last Will and Tesument," i6oo» 
Harvest enters with a scythe on his neck, and all his reapers with 
sickles, and a great black bowl with a posset in it, borne before 
him. Then follows the song and chorus : — 

" Merry, merry, merry; cheary, cheary, cheary ; 
Trowl the black bowl to me; 
Hey derry, derry ; with a poup and a leary, 
I'll trowl it again to thee. 

" Hooky, hooky, we have shorn. 
And we have bound. 
And we have brought Harvest 
Home to town." 

Drake, in '' Shakespeare and His Times," describes the Harvest 
Homes as not only being remarkable for merriment and hospitality, 
but for a temporary suspension of inequality between master and 
man. The whole family sat down at the same table, conversed, 
danced, and sang together during the entire night, without 
difference or distinction of any kind. 

Herrick, in his '' Hesperides,'' gives a good description of the 
Hock Cart, or Harvest Home festival According to Drake, 
the term is derived from the high*rejoicing cart, as applied to 
the last load of com. Thus Hocl^iide^ from Saxon Hoah* 
tide, or high-tide, and is expressive of the height of festivity. — 

Here is the bill of £ire for a Harvest supper, according to 
Herrick : — 

" Ye shall see 6r8t the larger chief, 
Foundation of your feast, fat beef ; 

1 84 In Praise of Ale. 

With upper stories, mutton, veal, 

And bacon, which makes full the meal ; 

With several dishes standing by. 

As here a custard, there a pie. 

And here all tempting frumenty. 

And for to make the merry cheer. 

If smirking wine be wanting here. 

There's that which drowns all care, stout beer ; 

Which freely drink to your lord's health. 

Then to the plough, the Commonwealth, 

Next to your flails, your vanes, your oats. 

Then to the maids with wheaten hats ; 

To the rough sickle and crook't sc3rthe. 

Drink, frolic boys, till all be blythe." 

Stevenson, in his ''Twelve*' Months, makes a prose poem on the 
same subject :— 

" In August, the furmety pot welcomes home the harvest 
cart, and the garland of flowers crowns the captain of the 
reapers: the battle of the field is now stoutly fought. The 
pipe and the tabour are busily set a-work, and the lad and the 
lass will have no lead on their heels. O 'tis the merry time 
wherein honest neighbours make good cheer, and God is glorified 
in his blessings on the earth." 

Richard Dodsley celebrates Harvest Home, and the bringing 
home the last load, in a thankful spirit : — 

** At length, adorned with boughs and garlands gay, 
Nods the last load along the shouting field. 
Now to the God of Harvest in a song 
The grateful ^rmer pays accepted thanks, 
With joy unfeign'd : while to his ravish'd ear 
The gratulations of assisting swains 
Are music His exulting soul expands ; 
He presses every aiding hand ; he bids 
The plenteous feast, beneath some spreading tree, 
Load the large board, and circulates the bowl, 

Harvest Songs, 185 

The copious bowl, unmeasured, unrestrain'd, 
A free libation to th' immortal Gods, 
Who crown with plenty the prolific soil. 
Hail ^Tour^d Island ! happy region, hail ! 
Whose temperate skies, mild air, and genial dews. 
Enrich the fertile glebe, blessing thy sons 
With various products, to the life of man 
Indulgent Thine Pomona's choicest gift. 
The tastefid apple, rich with racy juice. 
Theme of thy envy'd song, Silurian bard. 
Affording to the swains, in sparkling cups, 
Delicious beverage." 

jlgriculture^ Canlo III, 


With thanks to heaven, and tales of rustic love. 
The mansion echoes when the banquet's o'er ; 
A wider circle spreads, and smiles abound, 
As quick the frothing horn performs its round : 
Care's mortal foe, that sprightly joys imparts, 
To cheer their frame and elevate their hearts. 

Here once a year distinction low'rs its crest — 
The master, servant, and the merry guest 
Are equal all ; and round the happy ring 
The reaper's eyes exulting glances fling. 

The scholarly Thomson, in his *« Autumn," presents us with a 
perfect picture of Harvest Home rejoicings : — 

'^ But first the fuel'd chimney blazes wide; 
The tankards foam, and the strong table groans 
Beneath the smoking sirloin, stretch't immense 
From side to side, in which, with desperate knife. 
They deep incision make, and talk the while 
Of England's glory, ne'er to be defac'd 
While hence they borrow vigour: or amain 

1 86 In Praise of Ale. 

Into the pasty plung'd, at intervals, 

If stomach keen can intervals allow. 

Relating all the glories of the chace. 

Then sated Hunger bids his brother Thirst 

Pixxiuce the mighty bowl; the mighty bowl. 

Swelled high with fiery juice, steam's liberal round 

A potent gale, delicious as the breath 

Of Maia to the love*sick shepherdess, 

On violets diffiis'dy while soft she hears 

Her panting shepherd stealing to her arms. 

Nor wanting is the brown October, drawn. 

Mature and perfect, from his dark retreat 

Of thirty years ; and now his honest front 

Flames in the light refulgent, not afraid 

Ev'n with the vineyard's best produce to vie. 

To cheat the thirsty moments, Whist awhile 

Walks his dull round, beneath a cloud of smoke, 

Wreath'd, fragrant, from the pipe ; or the quick dice. 

In thunder leaping fh>m the box, awake 

The sounding gammon : while romp-loving miss 

Is haul'd about, in gallantry robust. 

At last these puling idlenesses laid 
Aside, frequent and full, the dry divan 
Close in firm circle ; and set, ardent, in 
For serious drinking. Nor evasion sly. 
Nor sober shift, is to the puking wretch 
Indulg'd apart $ but earnest, brimming bowls 
Lave every soul, the table floating round, 
And pavement, faithless to the fuddled foot. 
Thus as they swim in mutual swill, the talk, 
Vociferous at once from twenty tongues. 
Reels £»t from. theme to theme; from horses, hounds, 
To church or mistress, politics or ghost. 
In endless mazes, intricate, perplex'd. 
Meantime, with sudden interruption, loud, 
Th' impatient catch bursts firora the joyous heart ; 
''Phat moment touched is every kindred soul; 

Harvest Songs, 1 8 7 

And, opening in a fu]l-mouth'd cry of joy, 

The laugh, the slap, the jocund curse, go round ; 

While, from their slumbers shook, the kennel'd hounds 

Mix in the music of the day again. 

As when the tempest, that has vex'd the deep 

The dark night long, with fainter murmur falls: 

So gradual sinks their mirth. Their feeble tongues 

Unable to take up the cumbrous word, 

Lie quite dissolved. Before their maudlin eyes. 

Seen dim, and blue, the double tapers dance. 

Like the sun wading through the misty sky. 

Then sliding soft, they drop. Confus'd above. 

Glasses and bottles, pipes and gazeteers. 

As if the table ev'n itself was drunk. 

Lie a wet broken scene; and wide, below. 

Is heap'd the social slaughter, where astride 

The iiMer Power in filthy triumph sits. 

Slumberous, inclining still from side to side. 

And steeps them drenched in potent sleep till morn. 

Perhaps some doctor, of tremendous paunch 

Aweful and deep, a black abyss of drink. 

Out-lives them all ; and from his bury'd flock 

Retiring, full of rumination sad. 

Laments the weakness of these latter times. 

Robert Bloomfield grows equally eloquent in singing the 
praises of the waning year and the passing seasons : — 

" Now noon gone by, and four declining hours. 
The weary limbs relax their boasted powers ; 
Thirst rages strong, the fainting spirits fail, 
And ask the sovereign cordial, home*brew'd ale: 
Beneath some sheltering heap of yellow com 
Rests the hoop'd keg, and friendly cooling horn. 
That mocks alike the goblet's brittle frame, 
Its costlier potions, and its nobler name. 
To Mary first the brimming draught is given, 
Bv toil made welcome as the dews of heaven. 

1 88 In Praise of Ale. 

And oeyer lip that press'd its homely edge 
Had kinder blessings, or a heartier pledge. 
• ••••• 

Now ere sweet Summer bids its long adieu. 

And winds blow keen where late the blossom grew, 

The bustling day and jovial night must come. 

The long accustom'd feast of Harvest Home. 

No blood-stain*d victory, in story bright. 

Can give the philosophic mind delight; 

No triumph please, while rage and death destroy: 

Reflection sickens at the monstrous joy. 

And where the joy, if rightly understood 

Like cheerful praiise for universal good ? 

The soul nor check nor doubtful anguish knows. 

But pure and free the grateful current flows. 

Behold the sound oak table's massy frame 
Bestride the kitchen floor 1 the careful dame 
And gen*rou8 host invite their friends around. 
For all that cleared the crop, or til I'd the ground. 
Are guests by right of custom :— old and young; 
And many a neighbouring yeoman join the throng, 
With artisans that lent their dex'trous aid. 
When o'er each field the flaming sunbeams play'd. 

Yet plenty reigns, and from her boundless hoard, 
Though not one jelly trembles on the board. 
Supplies the feast with all that sense can crave ; 
With all that made our great fore^thers brave, 
Ere the doy'd palate countless flavours tried, 
And cooks had Nature's judgment set aside. 
With thanks to Heaven, and tales of rustic lore, 
The mansion echoes when the banquet 's o'er ; 
A wider circle spreads, and smiles abound. 
As quick the frothing horn performs its round; 
Care's mortal foe; that sprightly joys imparts 
To cheer their frame and elevate their hearts. 
Here, fresh and brown, the hazel's produce lies 
In tempting heaps, and peals of laughter rise. 

Harvest Songs. 1 89 

And crackling music, with the frequent song, 
Unheeded bear the midnight hour along. 

Here once a year Distinction low'rs its crest, 
The master, servant, and the meny guest. 
Are equal all $ and round the happy ring 
The reaper's eyes exultant glances fling, 
And, warm'd with gratitude, he quits his place. 
With sunburnt hands and ale-enliyen'd face. 
Refills the jug his honoured host to tend. 
To serve at once his master and the friend ; 
Proud thus to meet his smiles, to share his tale. 
His nuts, his conversation, and his ale. 

Such were the days— of days long past I sing. 
When Pride gave place to Mirth without a sting; 
Ere tyrant customs strength sufficient bore 
To violate the feelings of the poor ; 
To leave them distanced in the maddening race. 
Where'er refinement shews its hated face. 
Nor causeless hatred ; — 'tis the peasant's curse, 
That hourly makes his wretched station worse ; 
Destroys life's intercourse ; the social plan 
That rank to rank cements, as man to man : 
Wealth flows around him, Fashion lordly reigns; 
Yet poverty is his, and mental pains. 

Our annual feast, when earth her plenty yields. 

When crown'd with boughs the last load quits the fields. 

The aspect still of ancient joy puts on ; 

The aspect only, with the substance gone. 

The self-same horn is now at her command, 

But serves none now but the plebeian handi: 

For horoe-brew'd ale, neglected and debased. 

Is quite discarded from the realms of taste, 

Where unaflected freedom charm'd the souL" 

There is true philosophy in the last few lines. When the 
masters came to discard ale and drink wine, one bond of sym- 
pathy between themselves and their men was loosened. 

1 90 In Praise of Ale. 

Mr Motes Mendez, in his ^ Imitations of Spencer," gives a 
charming description of the Autumnal rejoicings : — 

" See jolly Autumn, clad in hunter's green, 

In wholesome lusty-hed doth mount the sphere, 
A leafy girlond binds her temples sheen, 

Instudded richly with the spiky ear. 

Her right hand bears a vine-endrcled spear, 
Such as the crew did whom Bacchus lad, 

When to the Ganges he his course did steer; 
And in her left a bugle horn she had. 
On which she eft did blow, and made the heart right glad." 

'* In slow procession moves the tottering wain, 
The sunburnt hinds their finished toil ensue; 

Now in the bam they house the glittering grain ; 
And there the cries of * harvest home ' renew, 
The honest farmer doth his friends salew ; 

And them with jugs of ale his wife doth treat. 
Which, for that purpose, she at home did brew. 

They laugh, they sport, and homely jests repeat. 

Then smack their lasses' lips, their lips as honey sweet." 

" Now harvest is over 
We'll make a great noise. 
Our master, he says, 
You are welcome, brave boys ; 
We'll broach the old beer 
And we'll knock along, 
And now we will sing an old harvest song." 

Here are a few local songs, which exhibit through all* the 
same kindly hospitable feelings. The Suffolk song was always 
sung by the oldest labourer on the estate, though every man 
present knew it by heart, and knew where the laugh came in. 
Still, the song was always new, and the chorus a thing to 
remember. The same old jest reverts upon the crowd, and by 
tradition is for wit allowed. To have omitted this song in a 

Harvest Songs. 191 

harrest feast, would have been held as a marked insult to the 
master and mistress. Though called a Suffolk song, it is not 
peculiar to that county. I have heard it sung consuntly in 

Suffolk Harvbst«Home Song. 

Here's a health unto our master, 

The founder of the feast! 

I wish with all my heart and soul 

In heaven he may find rest. 

I hope all things may prosper. 

That ever he takes in hand; 

For we are all his servants, 

And all at hb conunand. 

Drink, bo3rs, drink, and see you do not spill, 

For if you do you must drink two, — it is our master's will. 

Now our harvest is ended. 

And supper is past; 

Here's our mistress' good health. 

In a full flowing glass! 

She is a good woman, — 

She prepared us good cheer; 

Come, all my brave boys. 

And drink off your beer. 

Drink, my boys, drink, till you come unto me. 

The longer we sit, my boys, the merrier we shall be. 

In yon greenwood there lies an old fox, 
Close by his den you may catch him, or no ; 
Ten thousand to one you catch him, or no. 
His beard and his brush are all of one colour^ — 

( Tales the glass and empties it of) 
I sorry, kind sir, that your glass is no fuller. 
HTis down the red lane, 'tis down the red lane ! 
So merrily hunt the fox down the red lane. 

192 In Praise of Ale. 

Cornish Harvest-Home Song. 
From the Deuteromeliay 1609. 

" This songy" says Mr W. Sandys, ^ is similar in efiect to 
the Barley Mow song. The soccessive verses increase from the 
nipperkin to the ocean, each repeating all the previous ones." 

Give us once a drinke for and the black bole. 

Sing gentle butler holla moy; 
For and the black bole. 

Sing gentle butler, holla moy. 

Give us once a drink for and the pint pot. 

Sing gentle butler holla mcy; 
The pint pot, 

For and the black bole, &c. 

Give us once a drink for and die quart pot. 

Sing gentle butler holla moyi 
The quart pot, the pint pot. 

For and the black bole, &c. 

Give us once a drink for and the pottle pot, 

Sing gentle butler hoBa may; 
The pottle pot, the quart pot, the pint pot. 
For and the black bole, &c. 

Give us once a drink for and the gallon pot. 

Sing gentle butler hallo moy: 
The gallon pot, the pottle pot, the quart pot, the pint pot. 
For and the black bole, &c. 

Harvest Songs. 1 93 

Give ut once a drink for and the verkin, 

Sing, gentle butler, haffa may; 
The verkin, the gallon pot, the pottle pot, the quart pot, the pint 

For and the black bole. Sec, 

Give us kilderkin, 5cc., give uf barrel], &c.. 

Give 08 hogshead, &c.. 
Give us {npe, &c., give us bun, &c.. 

Give us the tunne, &c. 

Theac additional verses are from "Peroela," by Ravenscroft : — 

** Let's have a peal for John Cooke's soul, 
F'or he was an honest man ; 
With beUs all in order, the cruse with the black bowl, 
The tankard likewise with the can. 

** And I mine own self, will ring the treble bell, 
And drink to you every one: 
Stand fast now my mates, sing merrily and well. 
Till all this good ale is gone." 

The next is quoted by Mr J. H. Dixon, in the Roxburgh 
Collection. The allusion to the parson and his tithes shows that 
the inception of the anti-tithe lesson is not new : — 

Harvest Home Song. 

Our oats they are howed, and our barieys reaped. 
Our hay is mowed and our hovels heaped; 

Harvest Home ! Harvest Home ! 
We'll merrily roar out our harvest home ! 

Harvest Home ! Harvest Home ! 
We'll merrily roar out our harvest home ! 
We'll merrily roar out our harvest home ! 

1 94 In Praise of Ale, 

We cheated the parson, we'll cheat him again ; 
For why should the vicar have one in ten ? 

One in ten ! One in ten ! 
For why should the vicar have one in ten ? 
For why should the vicar have one in ten ? 
For staying while dinner is cold and hot. 
And pudding and dumpling's burnt to pot; 

Burnt to pot I Burnt to pot ! 
Till pudding and dumpling's burnt to poty 

Burnt to pot ! Burnt to pot ! 

We'll drink off the liquor while we can stand. 
And hey for the honour of Old England ! 

Old England ! Old England ! 
And hey for the honour of Old England ! 

Old England ! Old England ! 

Another version of the above shows a marked variation in 
the wording. The followmg edition is entitled ^ King Arthur, 
or the British Worthy," and in a note the compiler of the 
collection says : — 

^ This rustic madrigal, with its rant against the parsons, forms 
part of the enchantment of Merlin, and is sung by Comus and 
peasants. The introduction of Comus is as anomalous as the 
allusion to tithes." 

Harvest Home. 

Your hay it is mowed, and your com is reaped; 
Your bams will be full, and your hovels heaped. 

Come, my boys, come ; 

Come, my boys, come ; 
And merrily roar out harvest home ! 

Harvest home. 

Harvest home ; 
And merrily roar out harvest home ! 
Come, my boys, come, &c. 

Harvest Songs. 1 95 

We have cheated the parson, we'll cheat him again, 
For why should a blockhead have one in ten ? 

One in ten. 

One in ten ; 
For why should a blockhead have one in ten, 
For prating so long like a book-learned sot. 
Till pudding and dumpling bum to pot. 

Bum to pot. 

Bum to pot ; 
Till pudding and dumpling bum to pot. 
Bum to pot, &c. 

We'll toss off our ale till we cannot stand, 
And hoigh for the honour of Old England ; 

Old England, 

Old England ; 
And hoigh for the honour of Old England. 
Old England, &c. 

'^The Countryman's Wish," fh)m the "Loyal Garland," 
pubUshed in 1686, shows the extent of his modest and laudable 
ambition : — 

The Countryman's Wish. 
To the tune of " As May, in all her youthful dress." 

Let joy in smiles be ever seen, 

And kind as when our loves begun. 
And be my pastures ever green, 

And new crops spring when Harvest's done, 
My cattle thrive and still be fat. 
And I my wish shall find in that 

O let my table fiimish'd be 

With good fat beef and bacon too. 
And nappy ale be ever free, 

To strangers that do come and go. 

N 2 

1 96 In Praise of Ale, 

My yards with poultry and swine 

Well stoPdy and eke my ponds with fish. 

My bams well crammed with hay and grain, 
And I shall have my wish in this. 

Let me in peace and quiet live. 

Free from all discontent and strife; 
And know from whom I all receive. 

And lead a homely harmless life. 
Be neat in homespun clothing clad ; 

And still to add to all my bliss. 
My children train i' th' fear of God : 

And this is all on earth I wish. 

Neither the above nor the following are strictly Harvest Home 
songs, yet they run so well together, that it is a pity to separate 
them: — 

The Farmer's Wife's Drmr. 
By T. Jones. 

Ye Londoners all, though so gay. 

Attend to a ^rmePs wife's ditty, 
Nor wantonly flout her, I pray, 

Who sings not the charms of the city : 

For what can compare with green fields. 
Or their produce which Nature has sent ; 

For the health that good exercise yields, 
Makes happy the farmers of Kent. 

At noorning the sun gilds the vale; 

At evening as Sol's beams depart, 
The farmer rejoices in ale, 

And drinks to the friends of his heart. 

Cbomi — Then what can compare, &c. 

Harvest Songs. 197 

Here labour relies on repose, 
To strengthen for each coming day; 

Here the wild flower, the pink, and the rose, 
All bloom in the bosom of May. 

Chorus — Then what can compare, &c. 

Such, such are the joys of green fields. 

Which breeds in a cottage content; 
To partake of the produce it yields, 

You're welcome, with farmers of Kent. 

Chorus — ^Then what can compare, 6rc. 

Haymaking songs come, of course, under the generic term of 
Harvest Home rejoicings. The following is an old and favourite 
ditty: — 

The Haymakul's Song. 

In the merry nx>nth of June, 

In the prime time of the year; 
Down in yonder meadows 

There runs a river clear: 
And many a little fish 

Doth in that river play ; 
And many a lad and many a lass, 

Go abroad a -making hay. 

In come the jolly mowers 

To mow the meadows down ; 
With budget and with bottle 

Of ale, both stout and brown. 
All labouring men of courage bold 

Come here their strength to try; 
They sweat and Uow, and cut and mow. 

For the grass cuts very dry. 

Here's nimble Ben and Tom, 

With pitchfork and with rake; 
Here's Molly, Liz, and Susan, 

Come here their hay to make. 

198 In Praise of Ale. 

While sweet jug, jug, jug, jug! 

The nightingale doth sing. 
From morning unto even-song, 

As they are haymaking. 

And when that bright day faded, 

And the sun was going down, 
There was a merry piper 

Approached from the town : 
He pulled out his pipe and tabor. 

So sweetly he did play, 
Which made all lay down their rakes 

And leave off making hay. 

Then joining in a dance, 

They jig it o'er the green ; 
Though tired with their labour. 

No one less was seen. 
But sporting like some fairies, 

Their dance they did pursue, 
In leading up, and casting off. 

Till morning was in view. 

And when that bright daylight. 

The morning it was come. 
They laid down and rested 

Till the rising of the sun : 
When the merry larks do sing. 

And each lad did rise and take his lass. 
And away to haymaking. 

The next song has the same title, bat the subject is treated 
differently, and is much more characteristic of the old English 
style : — 

Thb Haymaker's Song. 

Come, neighbours, now weVe made our hay, 

The sun in haste 

Drives to the west, 
With sports, with sports conclude the day; 

Harvest Sonj^s, 1 99 

Let every man choose out his lass, 
And then salute her on the grass; 
And when you find 
She's coming kind, 
Let not that moment pass; 

Then we'll toss off our bowls, 

To true love and honour. 
To all kind loving girls, 
And the lord of the manor. 

At night when round the hall we sit. 

With good brown bowls 

To cheer our souls, 
And raise, and raise a merry chat: 
When blood grows warm, and love runs high. 
And jokes around the table fly. 

Then we retreat. 

And that repeat 
Which all would gladly try. 
Chonu — ^Then, &c. 

Let lazy great ones of the town 

Drink night away. 

And sleep all day, 
Till gouty, gouty they are grown ; 
Our daily works such vigour give. 
That nightly sports we oft revive, 

And kiss our dames 

With stronger flames 
Than anyj)rince alive. 

Chorus — Then, &c. 

Here is another hay harvest song, known 

The Craven Churn-Supper Song. 

*< In some of the more renK>te dales of Craven," says Bell, in 
his «« Ancient Poems of the Peasantry ;" "it is customary at the 

200 In Praise of Ale. 

close of the hay-hanrest for the farmers to gi?e an entertainment 
to their men; this is called the chum -supper. At these the 
masters and their families attend, and share in the general mirth. 
The men mask themsdres, and dress in a grotesque manner^ and 
are allowed the pririlege of playing harmless practical jokes on 
their employers, &c. The song has ne?er before been printed. 
There is a marked resemblance between it and the song * A Cup 
of Old Stingo.' ** 

God rest you, merry gentlemen ! 
Be not movM at my strain, 
For nothing study shall my brain. 

But for to make you laugh : 
For I came here to this feast. 
For to laugh, carouse, and jest. 
And welcome shall be erery guest. 

To take his cup and quaff. 

Cbonu'^^ frolicsome every one, 
Melancholy none ; 
Drink about! 
See it out. 

And then we'll all go home, 
And then we'll all go home! 

This ale it is a gallant thing. 

It cheers the spirits of a king; 

It makes a dumb man strive to sing, 

Aye, and a beggar play! 
A crippk that is lame and halt. 
And scarce a mile a day can walk, 
When he feels the juice of malt, 

Will throw his crutch away. 

Chonu — Be frolicsome, &c. 

Twill make the parson forget his men, 
Twill make his clerk forget his pen, 
Twill turn a uilor's giddy brain, 
And make him break his wand. 

Harvest Songs. 201 

The blackimith Joves it as his life, — 
It makes the tinkler bang his wife, — 
Aye, and the butcher seek his knife, 
When he has it in his hand! 

Cborui — Be frolicsome, &c. 

So now to conclude, my merry boys all, 
Let's with strong liquor take a fall, 
Although the weakest goes to the wall. 

The best is but a play ! 
For water it concludes in noise, 
Good ale will cheer our hearts, brave boys ; 
Then put it round with a cheerfid voice, 

We meet not every day. 

Cbonu — Be frolicsome, &c. 

1 am indebted to Messrs Novello, Ewer $l Co. for permission 
to reprint the two following modem songs; they form a pleasmg 
contrast to the older ones. The second song is more in the 
nature of a hymn, as it combines both praise and prayer in its two 
stanzas: — 

Harvist Song. 

Words by Mrs Newton Crosland. Music by Walter Cecil 


Our wealth is not of dismal mines. 

Or from the newly vaunted West ; 
But golden grain which burnished shines, 

With bearded pride, and nodding crest. 
And as we count this wealth in store. 
We spread the news from shore to shore. 

When waggons creak, and golden grain 

Rustles along the shady lane. 

Heigh! for the Harvest Home! 

The reapers reap with earnest will. 
And all the golden spears are lower'd, 

As if the sun they worshipped still, 
And mutely thus in death adored* 

202 In Praise of Ale, 

For Nature oftentiines we see, 

Mimica such blind idobtry, 

The waggons creak, and golden grain 
Rusdes along o'er hill and plain. 
Heigh! for the Harvest Home! 

The theayes are bound, and gleaners come, 

A motley group of old and young, 
The tremUing crones who creep from home. 

And children with a prattling tongue. 
Oh, let us drop, and freely spare 
For Poverty the gleaners' share. 

When waggons creak, and golden grain 

Rustles along oVr hill and plain. 

Heigh! for the Harvest Home! 

But sinks at last the glowing sun. 

From west to east the shadows come. 
Our joyful task at last is done, 

And loud the cry of " Harvest Home." 
Our granaries to«day shall brim ; 
Our song become a grateful hymn, 

For waggons creak, and golden grain 

Rustles along the moon-lit lane. 

Heigh! for the Harvest Home! 

Hartest Song. 

Words by J. L. in Famiiy Herald. Music by Benjamin 


Hail to our harvest home! 
Brothers and sisters come, 

Join the glad sound: 
Autuniin has come once more, 
Crown'd with a golden store, — 
From hall to cottage door, 

Let praise resound. 

Harvest Songs. 203 

Let the glad song arise, 
The heart's free sacrifice, 

For mercies giv'n : 
Thanks for the summer hours. 
Thanks for the fruitful show'rs, 
A plenteous crop is ours, 

Thanks, thanks to heaven. 

Hail to our harvest, &c. 
Shine bright, O harvest moon ! 
As now in joyous tune. 

We look on thee. 
Shine bright, ye stars that shed 
Your glory round our head, 
Grateful for daily bread 

We'll ever be. 
And Thou, Great Source of Good, 
Give us our daily food. 

Once more we pray; 
God of the hill and vale. 
As now thy gifts we hail, 
That harvest ne'er may &il, 

Hear us, we pray. 

Hail to our harvest, &c. 

Here is a good descriptive song in the local dialect of Dorset- 
shire, from the late Rev. W. Barnes* poems in the Dorsetshire 
dialect. I am indebted to the kindness of Messrs Kegan, Paul 
& Co. for permission to reprint 

Harvest Hwome. 

The Vu'st Peart. The Supper. 
Since we wer stripl^ns, naighbour John, 
The good wold merry times be gone, 
But we do like to think upon 

What we've a-zeed an' done. 
When I wer up a hardish lad 
At harvest hwome the work vo'k had 
Sich suppers, they wer jump^n mad 

Wi* feasten an' wi* fun. 

204 In Praise of Ale. 

At uncle's, I do mind, woone year, 

I zeed a Till o' hearty cheer, 

Fat beef an' pudd^, eale an' beer, 

Vor ev'ry workman's crop; 
An* after they'd a-gie* d God thanks, 
They all zot down, in two long ranks, 
Along a teable bwoard o' planks, 

Wi' uncle at* the top. 

An' there, in platters big and brown, 
Wer red fat beacon, an' a roun' 
O' beef wi' gravy that would drown 

A little rwoast^n pig ; 
Wi' b^ns an' teaties vull a zack. 
An' cabbage that would meake a suck, 
An' pudd^s brown, a-speckled black, 

Wi' figs, so big's my wig. 

An' uncle, wi' his elbows out. 

Did canre, an' meake the gravy ^out; 

An' aunt did gi'e the mugs about 

A-frorh^n to the brim. 
Pleates werden then ov e'then ware, 
They ate of pewter, that would bear 
A knock; or wooded trenchers, square, 

Wi' zalt-holes at the rim. 

An' zoo they munch'd their hearty cheer. 
An' dipp'd their beards in frothy-beer. 
An' laugh'd and jok'd — they coulden hear 

What woone another zaid. 
An' all o'm drink'd, wi' woone accword, 
The wold vo'k's health, an' beat the bwoard. 
An' swung their earras about, an' roar'd. 

Enough to crack woone's head. 

Harvest Songs. 205 

Harvest Hwome« 

Stcood Peart. What They did after Supper. 

Zoo after supper were a-done, 
They dear'd the teablea, an' begun 
To have a little bit o' fun, 

As long as they mid stop. 
The wold woones took their pipes to smoke, 
An' tell their teales, an' laugh an' joke, 
A-lookite at the younger ?o'k, 

That got up vor a hop. 

Woone screaped away, wi' merry grin, 
A fiddle stuck below his chin ; 
An' woone o'ro took the roll^n pin. 

An' beat the fry^n pan. 
An' tothers, danc^ to the soun'. 
Went in an' out, an' droo an' roun'. 
An' kick'd, an' beat the tute down, 

A-laugh^n, maid an' man. 

An' then a maid, all up tip-tooe, 

Veil down; an' woone o'm wi' his shoe 

Slit down her pocket hole in two, 

Vrom top a-most to bottom. 
An' when they had a-danc*d enough. 
They got a-playto blindman's buff. 
An' sarrd the maidens pretty rough. 

When woonce they had a«goc 'em. 

And zoroe did drink, an' laugh, an' roar. 
An' lott o' teales they had in store, 
O' things that happen'd years avore 

To them, and vo'k they know'd. 
An' zome did joke, an' zome did zing. 
An' meake the girt wold kitchen ring ; 
Till uncle's cock, wi' flapp^n wing, 

Strach'd out his neck an crow'd. 

2o6 In Praise of Ak. 

A ZoNG ov Harvfvt Hwomf. 

The ground is clear. There's nar a ear 
O' stano^o com a-left out now, 

Vor win' to blow or rain to drow ; 
'Tis all up seafe in bam or mow. 
Here's health to them that ploughed an' zow'd ; 
Here's health to them that reap'd an' mow'd, 
An* them that had to pitch an' 'Iwoad, 
Or tip the rick at Harvest Hwome. 

The happy zight, the merry night. 

The men's delight — the Harvest Hwome. 

An' mid noo harm o'vire or storm 

Beval the farmer or his com ; 
An' ev'ry zack o' zeed gi'e back 

A hunderd-vwold so much in barn. 

An' mid his Meaker bless his store. 

His wife an' all that she've abore, 

An' keep all evil out o' door, 

Vrom Harvest Hwome to Harvest Hwome. 
The happy zight, the merry night, 
The men's delight — the Harvest Hwome. 

Mid noth^n ill betide the mill. 
As day by day the miller's wheel 

Do dreve his clacks, an' heist his zack, 
An' vill his bins wi' show'r^n meal. 
Mid's water never overflow 
His dousty mill, nor zink too low, 
Vrom now till wheat agean do grow. 
An' we've another Harvest Hwome. 

The happy zight, the merry night. 

The men's delight — the Harvest Hwome. 

Drough cisterns wet an' malt-kil's het, 
Mid barley pay the malter's pains; 

An' mid noo hurt bevall the wort, 
A-bweil^n vrom the brewer's grains. 

Harvest Songs. 207 

Mid all his beer keep out o' harm 

Vrom bu'sted hoop or thunder atorm, 

That we mid have a mug to warm 

Our merry hearts nex' Harvest Hwome. 
The happy zight, the merry night, 
The men's delight — the Harvest Hwome. 

Mid luck an' jay the beaker pay, 

As he do hear his vier roar, 
Or nimbly catch his hot white batchy 

A reek^n vrom the oven door. 

An* mid it never be too high 

Vor our vew sixpences to buy, 

When we do hear our children cry 

Vor bread, avore nex' Harvest Hwome. 
The happy zight, the merry night. 
The men's delight — the Harvest Hwome. 

Wi' jay o' heart mid shotters start 

The whirr^n pa't ridges in vlocks; 
While shots do vlee drough bush an' tree, 

An' dogs do sun' so still as stocks. 

An' let 'em ramble round the varms 

Wi' guns 'ithin their bended earms. 

In goolden zunsheen free o' storms, 

Rejaic^n vor the Harvest Hwome. 
The happy zight, the merry night, 
The men's delight — the Harvest Hwome. 

There is a certain pathos in the descriptive song of " The Old 
Farm House." It appears in Rhymer's Collection without any 
indications of authorship, except that the music could then be 
obtained at Ransford's, Charles St., Soho Square, 

The Old Farm House. 

'TIS a pleasant spot that old farm house 

That stands on the lonely way-side. 
Where the sweet woodbine and the eglantine. 

The rentf in its old wall hide. 

2o8 In Praise of Ale. 

And the porch it seems as though 'twould greet 

Each wanderer for its guest. 
And lead him where there is hearty cheer. 

And a home of tranquil rest. 

How joyous was that old farm house, 

In times that have passM away, 
Where the yeomen took, in the ingle nook. 

Their place at the close of day. 
And still doth the merry husbandmen 

The mirthful hours beguile, 
And many a tale, as there they regale, 

Is told of that ancient pile. 

There is a deal of by-play in the following passages from 
Dibdin's operetta of the " Harvest Home " : — 


Enter GooJj^ Muzzy^ with ok. 

Goody, I do wonder, John Muzzy, thou canst take delight in 
this filthy liquor I 'Tis fit for nothing but to make thee quarrel 
with thy neighbours. 

Muzzy. Well, well ! don't abuse it, wife, but gie it to me. 

Goody. Why, hast no more manners ! Let me drink to the 
strangers first. Young men, your healths* 

Muz%y. Faith, weU pulled. Well, my lads, we shall have 
rare work this Harvest ; 'tis to begin with a wedding, how it will 
end is another matter. 

Glanvilk. Wounds! I do like a wedding, lyigeously ; and who 
is to be married, pray ? 

Muzzy, Sliddikins, she is a nice one ! You must know that, 
my wife. 

Goody. {PuOmg htm away.) John Muzzy, let me tell my own 

Muzzy. What a good creature it is ! She hates ale and will 

Harvest Songs. 209 

drink first. She never talks, and yet nobody must tell a story 
but herself. 

Reaper, Measter Muzzy, you be wanted in field. Madam 
and the gentlefolks be there. 
Goody, Run, John Muzzy, run ! 
Mtizzy. One pull first. (Drinh.) 
Wounds, here's such a coil! I am none of your poor 
Petty varlets, who flatter and cringe and procure! 
I am a freeman, a nabob, a king on his throne. 
For I have chattels and goods and strong beer of my own. 
Besides, 'tis a rule — that good fellows ne'er fail 
To let every thing wait, but the generous ale. 

My int'rest I love; thee I love too, good wife! 

But still I love better a jovial life ; 

And for thee or my lady, with duty devout 

111 run to Old Nick, when the dobbin's drank out 

But 'tis always a rule that good fellows ne'er fail 

To let every thing wait, but the generous ale. 


The duet between Trim and Glanville which succeeds 
combines the virtues of love and liquor : — 

Glanville, Sweet, oh sweet, the breeze of morning 

Passing o*er the new-blown rose. 
Where verdant bowers the meads adorning, 

Court rustic lovers to repose! 
The gay domain of gentle Flora, 

And all delights it can impart, 
Have not a sweet like my Fleora^ 

Dearrest flower of my heart. 

Trim. Sweet, oh sweet, the humming liquor 
Mantling in the crystal glass 
In which with rosy gills the vicar 
Chuckling toasts his favorite lass. 


2 1 o In Praise of Ale. 

Venus was a buxom huzzy, 

As Vulcan, Mara, and Jove can tell, 

And yet why may not Goody Muzzy, 
When one's sharp set, do as well ? 

Glanviffe, Pity from her, love invoking, 

To plead my wishes do not fail. 

Irinig See with love and thirat Pm choking, 
Smile and hand the mug of ale. 

Later on Muzzy sings another stave : — 

When Goody plays the devil or so, 
In midst of scolding strife or teara, 

OflF to the ale-house straight I go 
To drink my pint and save my ears." 

There's the tuneful nightingale. 

Do I exchange the screechowPs note. 

For as I drink the sparkling ale, 

I^ jug» jug» jug, goes down my throat. 

Trim, I could sing you a song to another queer sort of burden. — 

When Goody Muzz/s in a pout, 

And scolds, and storms, and fleers, and jaunts. 

Only to send her husband out, 
That die may let in her gallants. 

Then, John, in vain thy ale shall foam. 

And sparkle in its crystal bound, 
The nightingale's sweet voice at home 

Now jug, jug, jug, in kisses sound. 

Harvest Songs. 2 1 1 

Pauwell to Harvest. 
By JohD Scott, the scholarly and estimable quaker, 1 757. 

Farewell the pleasant violet-scented shade; 

The primrosM hill and daisy-noantled mead ; 
The furrow'd land, with springmg com array 'd; 

The sunny wall, with bloomy branches spread. 

Farewell the bower with blushing roses gay; 

Farewell the fragrant trefoil-purpled field; 
Farewell the walk through rows of new-mown hay, 

When evening breezes mingled odours yield. 

Farewell to these — now round the lonely farms, 
Where jocund Plenty deigns to ^x her seat; 

Th' autumnal landscape opening all its charms. 
Declares kind Nature's annual work complete. 

Indifierent what different views delight. 

Where on neat ridges waves the golden grain ; 

Or where the bearded barley dazzling white. 
Spreads o'er the steepy slope or wide champaign. 

The smile of Morning gleams along the hills; 

And wakeful Labour calls her sons abroad; 
They leave with cheerful look their lowly rills. 

And bid the fields resign their ripen'd load. 

To various tasks address the rustic band. 

And here the scythe, and there the sickle wield; 

Or rear the new-bound sheaves along the land ; 
Or range in heaps the produce of the field. 

Some build the shocks, some load the spacious wains, 
Some lead to sheltering bams the fragrant corn, 

Some form tall ricks that tow'ring o'er the plains, 
For many a mile the mral yards adorn. 

O 2 

212 In Praise of Ale. 

Th' inciosure gates thrown open all around, 
The stubble's peopled by the gleaning throng, 

The rattling car with verdant branches crown'd, 
And joyful swains that raise the clamorous song, 

Soon mark glad harvest o'er. — Ye rural lords, 
Whose wide domains o'er Albion's isle extend, 

Think whose kind hand your annual wealth affords, 
And bid to heaven your grateful praise ascend. 

For though no gift spontaneous of the ground 

Rose those fair crops that made your valleys smile. 

Though the blithe youth of every hamlet round 
Pursued for these through many a day their toil, 

Yet what avail your labours or your cares ? 

Can all your labours, all your cares, supply 
Bright suns or softening showers, or tepid airs, 

Or one indulgent influence of the sky? 

Prolific though thy fields, and mild thy clime, 

Know realms, once fam'd for fields and climes as fair, 

Have fell the prey of famine, war, and time, 
And now no semblance of their glory bear. 

• •••••• 

O haste to grace our isle, ye lovely train ! 

So may the Power whose hand all blessing yields. 
Give her fum'd glories ever to remain. 

And crown with annual wealth her laughing fields. 




" Hermit hoar, in solemn cell^ 

IVearing out lifts evening gray^ 
Smite thy bosom sage^ and tell^ 

What is bliss f and which the way ? 

** Thus I spoke ^ and speaking sighed^ 
Scarce repressed the starting tear; 
When the wilRng sage repBed — 

ComCf my lad^ and drink some heer*^ 


" When the brisk glass to freedom doth entire^ 
And rigid wisdom is a kind of vice,** 


Having given so many carols, Whitsun and Harvest songs, it 
is time to give specimens of the rich variety of general songs and 
ballads that have been written. Many of the best songs of this 
description bear date between i 5 50 and 1 650. I take it thst 
the bulk of these are much older than the date assigned them, 
but that they were rescued from tradition by the art of printing 
at the respective dates they bear. For instance, Warton describes 
Bishop StilPs song of <« Jolly Good Ale and Old ** as the first 
Chanson a btnre in the English language; This must have been 
slightly incorrect, since Dyce gives the following ballad from 
which Still must have taken his inspiration. I quote this ballad 

214 In Praise of Ale. 

from " Bell's Songs of the Dramatists," as Burns adapted <' John 
Barleycorn '* to a modem dress: — 

Back and Syde goo Bare. 

Back and syde goo bare goo bare 
both hande and foote goo colde 
but belly god sende the good ale inowghe 
whether hyt be newe or olde. 

but yf that I may have trwly 

good ale my belly full 

I shall looke lyke one by swete Saint Johnn 

were shoron agaynste the woole 

thowte I goo bare take you no care 

I am nothing colde 

I stufie my skynne so fi|ll within 

of joly goode ale and olde. 

I cannot eate but lytyll meate 

my Bellie ys not goode 

but sore I thyncke that I cowd dryncke 

with hym that werythe an hoode 

dryncke is my life althowghe my wyfe 

some tyme do chyde and scolde 

yet spare I not to plye the potte 

of joly goode ale and olde. 

back and syde goo bare goo bare, &c. 

I love noo roste but a browne toste 

or a crabbe in the fyer 

a lytyll bread shall do me steade 

mooche breade I newer desyer 

nor froste nor snowe nor wynde I trow 

canne hurte me yf hyt wolde 

I am so wrapped within and lapped 

with joly goode ale and olde. 

backe and syde goo bare, &c. 

General Songs. 215 

I *care ryte nowghte I take no thowte 

for clothes to kepe me warme 

have I goode dryncke I surely thyncke 

nothing can doe me harme 

for trwiy than I feare no man 

be be never so bolde 

when I am armed and throwly warmed 

with joly goode ale and olde. 

back and syde goo bare, &c. 

but now and than I curse and banne 

they make ther ale so smalle 

god geve them care and erill to faare 

they strye the malte and alle 

sooche pevisshe pewe I tell yowe trwe 

not for a croone of golde 

ther commethe one syppe within my lyppe 

whether hyt be newe or olde. 

backe and syde goo bare, 6cc. 

good ale and stronge maketh me amongc 

full joconde and full lyte 

that ofte I slepe and take no kepe 

from nK>ming vntyll nyte 

then starte 1 vppe and fle to the cuppe 

the ryte waye on I holde 

my thurste to staunche I fyll my paynche 

with joly goode ale and olde. 

backe and syde goo bare, 6cc. 

an Kytte my wife that at he lyfe 

lorethe well goode ale to seke 

full ofte drynkythe she that ye maye se 

the tears ronne downe her cheke 

then doth she troule to me the bolle 

as a goode malte worroe sholde 

and saye swete harte I have take my parte 

of joly goode ale and olde. 

backe and syde goo bare, &c. 

2 1 6 In Praise of Ale, 

they that do dryncke tyll they nodde and wyncke 

eyen as goode fellowes shulde do 

they shall notte mysse to have the blysse 

that goode ale hathe browghte them to 

and all poore soules that skowre blacke boUes 

and them hathe lusteiy trowlde 

god save the lives of them and ther wyves 

whether they be yong or olde. 

backe and syde goo bare, Sec. 

Still's version was introduced into the very stupid play of 
<* Gammer Gurton's Needle," in 1 566, much in the same way that 
"The Last Rose of Summer" was incorporated into "Martha," 
or "My Heart and Lute" into "Lodoiska." The worthy 
bishop did not lose promotion by writing it, as did the Dublin 
dean who wrote " The night before Larry was stretched," and 
missed his bishopric in consequence. Here is the song, how- 
ever, which is no doubt ^miliar to most of our readers: it goes 
to a well-known rattling tune. 

Here is the modem version : — 

Back and side go bare, go bare. 

Both foot and hand grow cold ; 
But belly, God send thee good ale enough. 

Whether it be new or old. 
I cannot eat but little meat, 

My stomach is not good; 
But sure I think that I can drink 

With him that wears a hood. 
Though I go bare, take ye no care, 

I am nothing a-cold; 

I stuff my skin so full within 
Of jolly good ale and old. 

Back and side go bare, go bare. 

Both foot and hand grow cold; 
But belly, God send thee good ale enough, 
Whether it be new or old. 

General Songs. 217 

I have no roast but a nut-Srown toast. 

And a crab laid in the fire ; 
A little bread shall do me stead, 

Much bread I not desire. 
No frost nor snow, do wind, I trow, 

Can hurt me if I wold; 
I am so wrapt, and throughly lapt, 

Of jolly good ale and old. 

Back and side go bare, Sec. 

And Tib my wife, that as her life 

Loveth well good ale to seek. 
Full oft drinks she, till ye may see 

The tears run down her cheek ; 
Then doth she trowl to me the bowl, 

Even as a malt-worm should, 
And saith. Sweetheart, I took my part 

Of this jolly good ale and old. 

Back and side go bare. Sec. 

Now let them drink till they nod and wink. 

Even as good fellows should do ; 
They shall not miss to have the bliss 

Good ale doth bring men to : 
And all poor souls that have scoured bowls, 

Or have them lustily trowled, 
God save the lives of them and their wives, 

Whether they be young or old. 

Back and side go bare. Sec. 

The following version of the better known portion is due to 
Dr Maginn: — 

Non possum multum edere. 

Quia stomacbus est nullus; 
Sed volo vel monacho bibere, 

Quanquam sit huic cucullus. 

2 1 8 In Praise of Ale. 

Et quamTis nadus ambaloy 

De frigore dod est metus; 
Quia semper zytho Tetulo 
Ventriculus est impletus. 
Sint nuda dorsum, latera — pes, manus algeDS sit, 
Dum Tentri yeteris copia zythi novive fit 

Assatum nolo, tostum volo, 

Vel pomum igni situm; 
Nil pane careo, parvum habeo 

Pro pane appetitum. 
Me gelu, nix, vel yentus vix 

Afficerent injuria ; 
Haec spemo, ni adesset mi 

Zythi veteris penuria. 
Sint nuda, &c. 

Et uxor Tybie, quae semper sibi 

Vult quacrere zythum bene, 
Ebibit haec persacpe, nee 

Sistit, dum madeant genx. 
Et mihi tum dat cantharum. 

Sic mores sunt bibosi; 
Et dicit "Cor, en! impleor 

Zythi dulcis et annosi " 
Sint nuda, 6cc. 

Nunc ebibant, donee nictant, 

Ut decet virum bonum ; 
Felicitatis habebunt satis. 

Nam zythi hoc est donum. 
Et omnes hi, qui canthari 

Sunt haustibus l^tati, 
Atque uxores vel juniores 

Vel senes, Diis sint grati. 
Sint nuda, 5cc. 

General Songs. 219 

Here is a reprint from Mr William Chappell's edition of the 
"Roxburghe Ballads "—«* The good fellows' best beloved." 
According to Martin Parker, who was the author of this ballad, the 
good fellows' best beloved was strong drink. A *< good fellow " 
was, in other words, a jovial fellow— one who, while under the too- 
frequent influence of alcohol, loved all the world, and thought 
himself a prince, or, at least, a millionaire. Other fellows, under 
the same impulsive power, had equally superb ideas of themselves, 
but they stood so much upon their dignity as to become very 
quarrelsome and disagreeable, although, when sober, they were of 
peaceful and amiable disposidons. Such opposite effects upon the 
brain might have been observed, not unfrequently, in the early 
part of the present century ; but drunkenness has now ceaaed to 
be esteemed a desirable accomplishment, and, except among the 
lowest orders, such cases are now comparatively rare, although 
not extinct. The fashion of stimulating the brain by drinking to 
excess has been generally resigned in favour of the sedative effects 
of tobacco. It seems, from this ballad, that 'Mpse he'' had 
become a slang term for drinking. It was perhaps derived from 
the earlier word " upsee." ** It has been said,'' said Nares, ** that 
op-zee, in Dutch, means 'over sea,' which comes near to another 
English phrase for drunkenness, being ' half seas over.' But op- 
zyn-fnes means <in the Dutch Buhion,' or a la mode de Frue^ which 
perhaps is the best interpieution of the phrase." BeaunK>nt, in 
his '' Beggar's bush," leads us to infer that upsee he, or ipse he, 
was strong English ale. 

For upse freeze he drank from four to nine. 

So as each sense was steeped well in wine. — Tbt Shrift, 

Ipse he has not yet been noticed in our glossaries or vocabularies. 
Stevens in one of his inimitable trials says the plaintiff was not 
ipse he, he was tipsy he. The name of the tune proves it to have 
been written in or after 1633. 

The play of " Beggar's Bush," in which the Kene is laid in 
Flanders, shows the repute which English ale then had achieved 

220 In Praise of Ale. 

Scene I. —Enter three or four Boors. 

First Boon Come, English beer, hostess, English beer by th' 

Second Boor. Stark beer, boy, stout and strong beer! So sit 
down, lads, and drink me Upsey Dutch ! frolick and fear not. 

Prig. Which is the bowl ? 

Higgini, Which roust be Upsey English, strong lusty English 

Seaward derives the word " Upsey " from " Op-zee," which is 
Dutch for ** half-seas." This is partly in accord, for a Dutch- 
man's draught wherever it be, should be deep as the rolling 
Zuyder zee; and elsewhere it is recorded that the fault of the 
Dutch is in asking too little but taking too much. 

The Good Fellowes' Best Beloved. 

To the tune of " Blue cap." 

Part I. 

Now if you will know what that should bee, 

ril tell you 'tis called good ipse hee : 

HTis that which some people do love in some measure, 

Some for their profit, and some for their pleasure. 

Among the nine muses, if any there be 
That unto good fellowship friendly adhere. 
Let them give assistance, this time, unto me. 
For I, in this ditty, intend to preferre 
A thing that's beloved 

Of rich and of poore ; 
It is well approved. 

There's reason therefore. 
My due approbation 
Shall evermore be 
In the commendation 
Of good ipse hee. 

General Songs. 221 

All tiorts and conditionSy the highe and the lowe. 

Although not alike, yet all, in some measure, 
Unto this, my theame, their aiFection will showe 
According as they have time, stomach, or treasure. 
There's few live so purely 
But they now and then 
Will sip it demurely^ 

Both women and men ; 
Both marryed and single 

Doe joyntly agree 
To fuddle their noses 
With good ipse he. 

Both lawyers and clienu that come to the terme, 
Howe*er the case goes, of one thing I am sure ; 
Before any business can be xVVd firme. 

Good liquor and money the meanes must procure. 
A taveme barre often 

Makes peace ere they j>art; 
Canary can soften 

A plaintiflle's hard heart. 
Their glasses they sup off, 
And make merry glee; 
Such power hath a cup of 
Good good ipse he. 

The taylor comes rubbing his hands in the mom, 
And calls for a cup of the butt next the wall ; 
Be it of the grape, or of John Barleycome, 

Hee'll drinke out his breakfast, his dinner, and all. 
Hee sayes ** Call and spare not ! 

lie go thorough stitch; 
Hang pinshing! I care not 

For being too rich: 
John Black's a good fellow. 

And he alowes me 
To make myself mellow 
With good ipse hee. * 


222 In Praise of Ale. 

The merry shoo-maker, when 'tis a hard frost, 
Sayes he cannot work, for his ware it is 6x>zen. 
Fayth! what shall we doe? let us goe to our host 
And makes ourselves merry with each a half-dozen." 
With this resolution 

They purpose to thrive; 
But, ere the conclusion. 

That number proves five. 
They sbg merry catches; 
Few tradesmen there be 
Are shoo-makers' matches 
At good ipse hee. 

Part II. 

The mason and bricklayer are somer birds; 

The winter to them is a time of vacation ; 
They and their labourers live on their words, 

Unless (like the ant) they have made preparation. 
And yet, though they have not, 

They nevertheless thinke 
^Tush! what if we save not? 

Must we have no drinke? 
Wee'll pawn tray and shovle. 

And more, if neede be. 
Our noses to fuddle 
With good ipse hee." 

Grim Vulcan, the bbcksmith, is chief of all trades; 

Then think you that he'l be, in drinking, inferior? 
No! truly: when hee's with his merry comrades 

Heell laugh and sing ditties; you never heard merrier. 
He cryes out [that] bee's hot, 

And still this is his note, 
** Come gi's t'other pot, 

HeerVs a sparke in my throate." 

General Songs, 223 

Hee calls and he payes. 

There's no man more finee; 
He seldom long stayes 

From good ipse hee. 

The tanner, whene'er he comes to Leaden-hall, 

After his journey, will make himselfe merry; 

He wil have good liquor, and welcome with all, 

The Bui for good beere, and the Nagg's head for sherry. 
No bargain shall stand 

But what liquor doth seale; 
Quite throughout the land 

Thus most tradesmen doe deale: 
In tarem or alehouse 

Most matches made be; 
The first word's «« Where shall us 
Find good ipse hee." 

The London shopkeepers that cry '* What d'ye lack?" 
When they have sold wares, and money have taken, 
They'l give [to] their chapman a pint o' th' best sacke, 
The price of it out of their money abating. 
The proverb observing — 

" They that money take 
Must pay all the charges " — 

This baigain they make: 
Thus liquor makes all men 

Most friendly agree. 
Both lowe men and tall men 
Love good ipse hee. 

The honest plain husbandman, when that he goes 
To fayre or to market with come or with cattle; 

When he hath dispatcht, he remembers his nose. 
How that must be arm'd as it were to a battle. 

224 In Praise of Ale. 

TheD, like to a gallant. 

To drinking he falls; 
Yet, though he's pot-valiant, 

He payes what he calls. 
He Kornes reputation 

Id that bas^ degree; 
His chiefe recreation 

Is good ipse hee. 

The generous serving-men, meeting each other — 

As well as their masters — sometimes wil be merry ; 
He that's a good fellow is lov'd like a brother. 
With making him welcom they never are weary. 
He that is a clowne 

As a clowne he may goe; 
Quite throughout the towne 

Such a fellow they'll know ; 
But those that are right 

Will in union agree 
By mom or by night 
At good ipse hee. 

In briefe, this it is which both women and men 

So deerely afiect that, before they will lack it, 
Theyll pawne all they have: nay, and so, now and then, 
(>own, kirtle, or waistcoate, cloak, breeches, and jacket. 
Although they want victuall. 

If they can get chinke, 
Bee't never so little, 

'Tis most on't for drinke. 
The rich and the begger, 
The bond and the free. 
Will oftentimes swagger 
At good ipse hee. 

The dramatists make frequent mention of beer. Fletcher's 
(who died of the plague in 1625) plays are full of allusions to 

General Songs. 225 

ale and beer. In " Philattcr,*' Pharamondy the captive prince, is 
reviled by a captain in good set terms, worthy of a Billingsgate 
fish hg: — 

** Nay, my beyond-sea sir, we will proclaim you. You would 
be king ! thou tender heir-apparent to a church ale," dtc, &c. 

Then in " The Scornful Lady," act 4, Kene 2 : — 

** Ale is their eating and their drinking solely." 

And, again, in act 2; — 

" Toung LoveUu, What think you, gentlemen, by all this 
revenue in drink ? 

Caftain, I am all for drink. 

Traveller, I am dry till it be so. 

Poet. He that will nor cry < Amen ' to this, let him live 
sober, seem wise, and die o' th' quorum." 

In " Wit without Money," when the tenants reproach Valen- 
tine, they say: — 

*' His father kept good meat, good fellows. Who found you 
horses and perpetual pots of beer ? " 

Then we have a sketch of the Mermaid Tavern: — 

" What things have we seen done at the Mermaid. 
Draw me a map of the Mermaid." 

And further on this peculiar phrase occurs: — 

*' He was a fool before, brought up amongst 
The mist of small brewhouses." 


" Benvolio, . . . They say, if a man be drunk over night, the 
devil cannot hurt him in the morning." — Faustut^ ac il scene 4. 

226 In Praise of Ale. 

" Carter, Conie, my mabtcrs, I'Jl bring you to the best beer in 
Euro{>e/' — Ibirl,^ act iv. scene 6, 

^ Rohitt. Nay, sir, we will be welcome for our money, and wc 
will pay for what we take. What ho! give*8 half-a-dozen of 
beer here, and be hanged. 

Fauilus. Nay, hark you, can you tell me where you are? 

Carter. Aye, marry, can I, we are under heaven. 

Sifvani, Aye; but, Sir Saucebox, know you in what place? 

Hone^Cotner. Aye, aye, the house is good enough to drink 
in. Zounds! fill us some beer, or we'll break all the barrels in 
the house, and dash out all your brains with the bottles. 

Fauttw. Be not so furious; come, you shall ha^ beer. 
My lord, beseech you give me leave awhile, 
I'll gage my credit, 'twill content your grace. 

Duhe. With all my heart, kind Doctor, please thyself, 
Our servants and our court's at thy command. 

Fauitus, I humbly thank your grace, then fetch some beer. 

Norit'Courier. Ah, marry! tliere spake a doctor, indeed ! and 
'faith, I'll drink a health to thy wooden leg for that word." 


" For God '6 Scikc a pot of small ale." 

'' And once again a pot o' the smallest ale." 

'' prince Hinry. Doth it hot show vilely in me to desire small 


jPocfix. Why, a prince should not be so loosely studied as to 
remember so weak a composition. 

Prince. Belike, then, my appetite was not princely got. I do 
ow remember the poor creature, small beer.* 

«* Speed. Come on, you mad-cap, I'll to the alehouse with you 
presently, where, for one shot of fivepence thou shah have iiv^ 
thousand welcomes. 

General Songs. 2iy 

Speed. Item, She brews good ale, 

Launce, And therefore comes the proverb. Blessing of your 
hearty you brew good ale. 

• • • • • 

Speed, Item, She will often praise her liquor, 

Launce, If her liquor be good, she shall; if she will not, I 
will, for good things should be praised.** 

^ Fal staff, , . . An* I have not forgotten what the inside 
of a church is made of. I am a pepper-corn, a brewer*s horse.*' 

The commentators thus enlarge upon this passage : — 

** a brewer's horse.] I suppose a brewer's horse was apt 

to be lean with hard work.*' — Johnson, 

** A brewer's horse does not, perhaps, mean a dray^horse^ but 
the cross-beam on which beer-barrels are carried into cellars, &c. 
The allusion may be to the taper form of this machine. 

" A brewer's horse is, however, mentioned in Artippus^ or The 
Jovial Philosopher^ 1630: —•To think Helicon a barrel of beer, 
is as great a sin as to call Pegasus a brewers horse* ** — Steeyens, 

'• The commentators seem not to be aware, that, in assertions of 
this sort, F distaff does not mean any similitude to his own 
condition, but on the contrary some dissimilitude. He says here, 
I am a pepper^torn^ a brewer's horse; just as in act ii., scene 4, 
he asserts the truth of several parts of his narrative, on pain of 
being considered as a rogue —a Jew — an Ebrew Jew — a bunch of 
raddish — a horse,** — Tyrwitt. 

Brewers* hoi*ses of the present day are certainly not like to the 
lean kine, but are Falstaffian in their .own proportions. 

In R. Dodsley's play, " The King and the Miller of Mans^ 
field,'* we are reminded that the Clerk of Copmanhurst was not 
the only one that entertained a king unawares. The miller of 
Mansfield was equally — nay, nwre — hospitable to Henry II., as 
there was no compulsion in the latter case. When the king 
arrived at the mill, the host gave his wife instructions: — 

** Miller, Gome, Madge, see what thou canst get for supper. 
Kill a couple of the best fowls; and go you, Kace, and draw » 

r 2 

228 In Praise of Ale. 

pitcher of ale. We are femous, nr, at Mansfield for good ale, 
and for honest fellows that know how to drink it. 

King. Good ale will be acceptable, for I am very dry. 

Scene VI.— "-At supper. 

Miller. Come, sir, you must mend a bad supper with a glass 
of good ale. Here's King Harry's health ! 
King. With all my heart." 

This shows that Nottingham turned out right royal tipple. 

Bloomfield, Ho%lev>ood Hall^ act iii., scene i. 

" Spokeum. What, thrte women kept a secret ! why, this is more 
surprising still! it is more wonderful than picking hops by 

Judith. When you have a little drop of drink in your head 
(and a very little will do it), you are apt to blat out everything 
that you know. 

Spoheum, Humph! mayhap you will say that I have drink in 
my head now; but 1 declare that I have had but two horns of 
ale since I came into the house (it was plaguey strong though); 
and I don't care what you say — go on — I tell you I don't care." 

The annexed extract is from a poem written in the reign of 
Edward II., descriptive of the manners of the times: — 

«* Hafter mete the haf a pyne 

That greveth him ful sore: 
He will drawe at a drawzt 

A gode quart othermore 
Of gode ale and strong 

Wei i-brewen of the beste, 
And sone thereafter he wol fond 

For to each reste." 

There is a great deal of sameness in the Roxburgh ballads, 
especially in the beer and malt songs, in the way that every then 
known trade is taken in hand, seriatim^ by mault and ale, each one 
of whom sufiers somewhat in the encounter. <<The Good 

General Songs. 2 29 

Fellows' Resoludony" taken from the above-Damed source, has 
this defect, though it is one of the best of the series: — 

Good Ale for my Money. 

Tiff Good Fellows resolution of strong ale^ 
Thai cures his nose from looting paU. 

To the tune of ** The Country Lasse." 

Be merry, my Friends, and list a while 

Unto a merry jest; 
It may from you produce a smile, . 

When you heare it exprest, — 
Of a young man lately married, 

Which was a boone good fellow, 
This song in's head he alwaies carried 
When drink had made him mellow: 

I cannot go home, nor I will not go home, 

It's long of the oyle of Barley; 
He tarry all night for my delight. 
And go home in the morning early. 

No Tapster stout, or Vintner tine. 

Quoth he, shall ever get 
One groat out of this purse of mine, 

To pay his master's debt: 
Why should I deal with starking Rookes, 

That sceke poor gulls to cozen, 
To give twelve pence for a quart of wine ? 

Of ale 'twill buy a dozen. 

'Twill make me sing, I cannot, &c. 

The old renowned I-pocrist 

And Rapsie doth excell ; 
But never my wine could yet 

My honour please to swell. 

230 In Praise of Ale. 

The Rhenish wine or Muscadine, 
Sweet Malmsie is too fulsome; 

No give me a cup of Barlie broth, 
For that is very wholesome. 

Twill make me sing, I cannot, &c. 

Hot waters are to me as death, 

And soone the head o'ertumeth, 
And nectar hath so strong a breath ; 

Canary, when it bumeth, 
It cures no paine, but breaks the braine, 

And raps out oaths and curses, 
And makes men part with heavie heart, 

But light it makes their purses. 
I cannot go home, &c. 

Some say Matheglin beares the name 

With Perry and sweet Sider ; 
'Twill bring the body out of frame, 

And reach the belly wider; 
Which to prevent, I am content 

With ale that's good and nappie, 
And when thereof I have enough, 

I thinke my selfe most happy. 
I cannot go home, &c. 

All sorts of men, when they do meet, 

Both trade and occupation, 
With curtesie each other greet. 

And kinde humiliatiofl; 
A good coale fire is their desire, 

Whereby to sit and parly; 
They'll drinke their ale, and tell a tale. 

And go home in the morning early.. 
I cannot go home, &c. 

General Songs. 2 3 1 

The Second Party to the same tune. 

Here, honest John, to thee He drinke. 

And 80 to Will and Thomas; 
None of the company, I thtnke, 
Will this night part from us; 
While we are here, we'll joyne for beere, 

Like lively lads together ! 
We ha?e a house o?er our heads, — 
A fig for ranie weather. 

I cannot go home, nor I will not go home. 

Its long of the oyle of Barley; 
I stay all night for my delight, 

And go home in the rooming early. 

Here's Smugg the smith, and Ned the cook. 

And Frank, the fine felt maker. 
Here's Ste?en with his silver hooke, 

And Wat the lustie baker; 
Here's Harry and Dick, with Greg and Nicke; 

Here's Timothy, the tailor; 
Here's honest Kit, nere spoke of yet, 

And George, the joviall saylcr. 
That cannot go home, &c. 

We'll sit and bouse, and merrily chat. 

And freely we will joyne; 
For care neere paid a pound of debt, 

Nor shall pay none of mine; 
Here is but eighteenpcnce to pay, 

Since every man is willing ; 
Bring drinke with all the speed you may 

We'll make it up two shillings. 
We cannot, &c. 

Let Father frowne and Mother chide, 

And Uncle seeke to find us; 
Here is good lap, here will we hide, 

Weele leave no drinke behtnde us. 

32 In Praise of Ale. 

A proverb old I have heard told 

By my deere dad and grandsire, 
*^ He was hanged that left his drinke behinde," 

Therefore this is our answer. 
We cannot, &c. 

JameS) the Joyner, he hath paid. 

And Anthony the Gloverj 
Our Hostease hath a pretty maid, 

I cannot chuse but love her; 
Her pot she'll fill with right good will : — 

Here's ale as browne as a berry, 
Twill make an old woman dance for joy, 

And an old man's heart full merry. 
I cannot, &c. 

Twill make a Souldier domineere. 

And bravely draw his rapier; 
Such vertue doth remaine in beere, 

Twill make a cripple caper: 
Women with men will now and then, 

Sit round and drinke a little; 
Tom Tinker's wife, on Friday night. 

For drinke did pawne her kettle, 
Sht could not §omi bome^ nor would not come home^ 

Her belly begun to nimble; 
She had no power to go nor stand, 

BHt about the street did stumble. 

Thus to conclude my verses rude. 

Would some good fellowes here, 
Would joyne together pence a peece, 

To buy the singer bcere; 
I trust none of this company. 

Will be herewith offended; 
Therefore, call for your jugs a peece, 

And drink to him that pen'd it. 


General Songs, 233 

The proverb) ** The man who refused his liquor was hanged/' 
arose thus. It was formerly the custom to present a bowl of ale to 
malefactors on their way to execution. The county of YorK, which 
strongly adheres to its ancient usages, was the last place where 
this custom prevailed. A saddler of Bawtry lost his life in con* 
sequence of declining the refreshment, as, had he stopped as usual, 
his reprieve, which was actually on the road, would have arrived 
in time enough to have saved him. Hence arose the saying that 
the saddler of Bawtry was hanged for leaving his ale. 

We have met many Yorkshiremen in our time, but we certainly 
never met with one who refused his beloved stingo, and the 
general verdict ujX)n the miserable saddler was "sarved him 

A converse to this story is found in the following. A 
Scotch soldier was condemned to be shot, and the firing 
party told off, when the provost asked him which psalm he would 
have read. The condemned had the right of choice, and the 
prisoner chose the 1 1 yth. The Provost did not like the choice, 
but he had to comply, and just as he came to the last verse a 
reprieve arrived. 

It must not be supposed that beer attained its pre-eminence 
without a struggle. Here is a quatrain from Heylin's " Cosmo- 
graphie," 1652 — an invective more forcible than elegant; — 

Nescio quid monstrum Stygiz conforme paludi, 
Cervisiam plerique vocant, nil spissius ilia, 
Dum bibitur, nil clarius est dum mingitur, ergo 
Constat quod niultas fxces in ventre relinquit. 

In English thus: — 

Of this strange drink, so like the Stygian lake. 
Which men call ale, I know not what to make; 
Men drink it thick and void it very thin, 
Thorefore much dregs must needs remnin within. 


234 Jf^ Praise of Ale. 

Thomas Randall's high and mighty commendation of a pot of 
ale is not so well known in its entirety as it deserves to be, though 
from time to time a few verses have been " adapted ** and issued 
as an "original" song. In the "Antidote to Melancholy," 
1 66 1, the verses are conveyed in this manner. Southey, in his 
commonplace book, quotes these three verses as a complete song, 
and does not ap])ear to have known the original. 

High and Mightie Commendation of the Vertue of a 

Pot of Good Ale. 

Full of wit without offence, of mirth without obscenitie, of 
pleasure without scurrilitie, of good content without distaste. 

Written by Thomas Randall,* mdczlii. 

Not drunken nor sober (but neighbour to both), 

I met with a friend in Aletherry vale; 
He saw by my face that I was in the case 

To speak no great harm of a pot of good ale. 

And as we did meet and friendly did greete. 
He put me in mind of the name of the dale; 

That for Alesherry^i sake, some paines I would take. 
And not burie the praise of a pot of good ale. 

The more to procure me, then did he adjure me 
(If the ale I drank last were nappie and stale) 

To doe it its right, and stir up my spight, 
And fale to commend a pot of good ale. 

Quoth I, to commend I dare not begin, 

Lest therein my cunning might hapj)en to faile, 

For many there be that count it a sin 

But once to look towards a pot of good ale. 

Yet I care not a pin, for I see no sin. 

Nor any else that my courage may quaile; 
For this I doe find, being taken in kind, 

Much vertue there is in a pot of good ale. 

• ** He oever could kwk at a pot of Beer 
But over went the •how.*' 

General Songs. 235 

When heavineste the mind doth oppresse. 
And sorrow and griefe the heart doth assaile, 

No remedy quicker, but take up your liquor. 
And wash away care with a pot of good ale. 

The priest and the dark, whose sight waxeth dark, 
And the print of the letter doth seeme too small, 

They will con every letter, and read service better. 
If they glaze but their eyes with a pot of good ale. 

The poet divine, that cannot reach wine. 
Because that his money doth oftentimes faile. 

Will hit on the veine, and reach the high straine, 
If he be but inspir'd with a pot of good ale. 

All writers of ballads, for such whose mishap 

From Newgate up Holboumc to Tybume doe saile, 

Shall have sudden expression of alle their confession. 
If the muse be but dew*d with a pot of good ale. 

The prisoner that is enclos'd in the grate, 
. Will shake off remembrance of bondage and iaile, 
Of hunger and cold, of fetters or fate, 

If he pickle himself with a pot of good ale. 

The salamander blacksmith that lives by the fire. 
Whilst his bellowes are puffing a blustering gale, 

Will shake off his full kan, and sweare each true vulcan 
Will hazard his witts for a pot of good ale. 

The wooer that feareth his suit to begin, 

And blushes and simpers and often looks pale, 

Though he miss in his speech and his* heart were at his breech, 
If he liquor his tongue with a pot of good ale. 

The widdow, that buried her husband of late, 
Will soon have forgotten to weep and to waile, 

And think every day twaine, till she marry againe. 
If she read the contents of a pot of good ale. 

236 In Praise of Ale, 

The plowman and carter that toyles all the day. 
And tires himself quite at the plough taile, 

Will speak no lesse things than of queens and of kings, 
If he do but make bold with a pot of good ale. 

And indeed it will make a roan suddenly wise, 
Erewhile was scarce abel to tell a right tale, 

It will open his jaw, he will tell you the law. 
And straight be a bencher with a pot of good ale. 

I doe further alledge it is fortitude's edge, 
For a very coward that shrinks like a snaile 

Will sweare and will swagger, and out goes his dagger, 
If he be but weU arm*d with a pot of good ale. 

The naked man taketh no care for a coat. 

Nor on the cold weather will once turne his taile, 

AH the way as he goes cut the wind vath his nose, 
If he be but well lin'd with a ))0t of good ale. 

The hungrie man seldom can mind his meat 

(Though his stomack could brook a tenpenny nail). 

He quite forgets hunger, thinks of it no longer, 
If his bellie be 60ws*d with a pot of good ale. 

The reaper, the mower, the thresher, the sower. 

The one with his scithe, and the other with his flaile. 

Pull 'em out by the pole on the peril of my sole 
They will hold up their caps at a pot of good ale. 

The beggar, whose portion is alwayes his prayer, 

Not having a tatter to hang at his taile, 
Is as rich in his rags as a churle with his bags, 

If he be but enriched with a pot of good ale. 

It puts his povertie out of his mind. 

Forgetting his browne bread, his wallet, his maile. 
He walks in the house like a six-footed lowse. 

If he be but well drench 'd with a pot of good ale. 

General Songs. 237 

The souldier, the saylor, the true man, the taylor, 
Th« lawyer that sells words by weight and by tale, 

Take them all as they are, for the war or the bar. 
They all will approve of a pot of good ale. 

The church and religion to love it have cause 
(Or else our forefathers their wisdoms did faile). 

For at every mile, close at the church stile, 
A house is ordain'd for a pot of good ale. 

And physick will favour ale (as it is bound), 
And stand against beere both tooth and naile, 

They cend up and downe, all over the towne, 
To get for their patients a pot of good ale. 

Your ale-berries, cawdles, and possett^ each one. 

And sullabubs made at the milking pale, 
Although there be many, beere comes not in any. 

But all are compos'd with a pot of good ale. 

And in very deed, the hop's but a weed 

Brought o'er against law, and here set to sale ; 

He that first brought the hop had reward with a rope, 
And found that his beere was more bitter than ale. 

The ancient tales that my grannam hath told 
Of the mirth she hath had in parlour and hall. 

How in Christmas time they would dance, sing, and raive, 
As if they were mad, with a pot of good ale. 

Beer is a stranger, a Dutch vpstart come. 
Whose credit with us sometimes is but small ; 

But in the records of the empire of Rome 

The olde Catholicke drink is a pot of good ale. 

To the praise of Gamlnnius^ the old British king. 

Who devis'd for the nation (by the Welch-men's tale), 

Seventeene hundred yeares before Christ did spring. 
The happie invention of a pot of good ale. 

238 fn Praise of Ale, 

But he was a Pagan, aod ale theo was rife; 

But after Christ came and bade us aU baiky 
Saint Tavie was neffer irink peere In lier Tife^ 

Put awle caUywhibUn and excellent ale. 

All religions and nations, their humours and fashions, 
R ch or poore, knave or whoore, dwarBsh or tall, 

Sheep or shrew. Fie avow, well I know all will bow. 
If they be but well steep'd with a pot of good ale. 

O, ale ab alemlo, thou liquor of life, 

I wish that my mouth were as big as a whale; 

But then 'twere too little to reach thy least title 
That belongs to the praise of a pot of good ale.* 

Thus many a vertue to you I have showed, 

And not any vice in all this long tale; 
But after the pot there cometh a shot, 

And that is the blot of a pot of good ale. 

Well said, my friend, that blot I will b^are. 

You have done very well, it is time to strike salle ; 

Wee*l have six pots more, though we dye on the score. 
To make all this good of a pot of good ale. 

I took the foregoing lines from one of the King's Pamphlets 
in the British Museum, but Mr Ebsworth gives another version, 
containing the following additional stanzas : — 

The old Parish Vicar, when he's in his liquor. 

Will merrily at his parishioners rail : 
Come, pay all your tithes, or I'll kiss all your wives, 

When once he shakes hands with a tankard of ale. 

* Parallel Passage. 
1 wUh 1 was a brewer's hoise 

For twelve months in the year, 
I*d put my head where my tail should l-e 

And suck up all tlie beer. 

General Songs. 239 

There's the blacksmith, by trade a jolly busk blade, 
Cries " fill up the bumper, dear host, from the pail," 

So cheerful he*ll sing, and make the house ring. 
When once he shakes hands with a tankard of ale. 

There's the tinker, ye ken, cries old kettles to mend, 
With his budget and hammer to drive in the nail. 

Will spend a whole crown, at one sitting down, 
When once he shakes hands with a tankard of ale. 

There's the mason, brave John, the carver of stone, 
The master's great secrets he'll never reveal ; 

Yet how merry is he, with his lass on his knee, 
When once he shakes hands with a tankard of ale. 

Ye maids who feel shame, pray do me no blame, 
Though your private ongoings in public I tell ; 

Your Bridget or Nell to kiss will not fail. 

When once they shake hands with a tankard of ale. 

There's some jolly wives love drink as their lives. 

Dear neighbours, but mind the sad thread of my talc; 

Their husbands they'll scorn, as sure as they were born, 
If once they shake hands with a tankard of ale. 

From wrangling and jangling, and ev*ry such strife, 

Or anything else that may happen to fall, 
From words come to blows, and sharp bloody nose. 

But friends again over a tankard of ale. 

For Balbds Elderton never had a peer, 

How went his wits in them with how merry a gale. 

And with all the sails up, had he been at the cup, 
And washed his beard with a cup of good ale. 

According to the annexed doggrel lines, Aylesbury must have 
been long famous for its brewings: — 

Ale drinkers should to Malta near, 
Whose thirst naught can controul; 
Publicans to Aylesbury, 
And take their heavy wet. 

240 In Praise of Ale. 

Here is a good song in praise of ale, which is taken from 
"Wit and Drollery," 1656 edition: — 

Oy Give me Stout Brown Ale. 

When the chill Sirocco blows. 

And winter tells a heavy tale ; 
When pies, and dows, and rooks, and crows. 
Do sit and curse the frost and snows; 
Then give me ale, 
Old ale, 
Stout brown, 
Nut brown, 
O, give me stout brown ale. 

Ale in a Saxon runken then, 

Such as will make grimalkin prate, 
Bidft valour burgeon in tall men, 
Quickens the poet's wit and pen, 
Despises fate — 
Old brown, 
Stout brown. 
Nut brown, 
O, give me stout brown ale. 

Ale that the ploughman's heart up keeps, 

And equals it to tyrants' thrones. 
That wipes the eye that over weeps. 
And lulls in sweet and dainty sleeps 
Th* o'erwearied bones — 
Old brown, 
Stout brown. 
Nut brown, 
O, give me nut-brown ale. 

Grandchild of Ceres, Barlie*s daughter, 
Wine's emulous neighbour — if but stale ; 

Ennobling all the nymphs of water. 

And 6Uing each man's heart with laughter. 

General Songs. 24 « 

O, give mc idc — 

Old brown, 

Stout brown, 

Nut brown, 
O, give mc stout brown ale. 

A variation of the above appeared in the European Magazine^ 
December 1814, with a note to the effect that the song was 
written in the reign of Charles II. 

Give Me Ale. No. II. 

When the chill north-east wind blows, 

And winter tells a heavy tale, 
When pyes and dawes, and doobes and crowes, 
Do sit and curse the frostes and snowes, 
Then give mc Ale. 

Alb, that the absent battle fights, 

And forms the march o' the Swedish drum. 
Disputes the prince's laws and rights, 
What's gone and past tells mortal wights, 
And what's to come. 

Ale, that the plowman's heart upleepes. 
And equails it to Tyrants' thrones. 

That wipes the eye that ever weepes. 
And lulls in soft and easie sleepes 
The tyred bones. 

Ale, that securely clymes the topps 
Of cedars tall, and lofty towers, 
When giddy grapes and creeping hoppv 
Are holden up with poles and propps. 
For lack of powers. 

242 In Praise of Ale, 

When the SqyteotrioD seas are froze 

By Boreas his bidng gale, 
To keep unpinch'd the Russian's nose, 
And save unrot the Vandal's toes, 
Oh ! give them Ale. 

Grandchild to Ceres, Barley's daughter, 

Wine's emulous neighbour, if but stale, 
Ennobling all the nymphes of water, 
And filling each man's heart with laughter- 
Hah ! give me Ale. ' 

The Praise of Ale. 

Come all you brave knights 
That are dubbed ale-knights. 

Now set yourself in fight ; 
And let them that crack 
In the praises of Sack^ 

Know mail is of mickle wight. 

Though Sack they define 
To be holy, divine, 

Yet is it but natural liquor; 
Ale hath for its part, 
An addition of art, 

To make it drink thinner or quicker. 

Sack's fiery fume 

Doth waste and consume 

Men's humidum radlcale; 
It scaldeth their livers, 
It breeds burning fevers. 

Proves vinum venerium rea/e. 

General Songs. 243 

But hiftory gathert 
From aged forefathers, 

That aUi the true liquor of life ; 
Men liv'd long in health, 
And preferred their wealth. 

Whilst barley-broth only was rife. 

•Sari quickly ascends, 
And suddenly ends — 

What company came for at first ; 
And that which yet worse is, 
It empties men's purses 

Before it half quenches their thirst. 

Ale is not so costly, 
Altho' that the roost lye 

Too long by the oil of barley ; 
Yet may they part late 
At a reasonable rate, 

Though they come in the morning early. 

Sack makes men from words 
Fall to drawing of swords, 

And quarrelling endeth their quaffing ; 
Whilst dagger»ale barrels 
Bear off* many quarrels. 

And oft turn chiding to laughing. 

Sact^i drink for our mailers ; 
jIU may be ale-tasters ! 

Good things the more common the better : 
Sack's but single broth ; 
Ale's meat, drink, and cloth. 

Say they that know never a letter ! 

Q 2 

244 In Praise of Ale. 

But not to entangle 

Old friends, till they wrangle 

And quarrel for other roen'f pleasure — 
Let Ale keep his place, 
And let Sack have his grace, 

So that neither es^ceed the true measure. 

As a change of metre, a few more modem songs may be a 
relief, albeit they be somewhat out of sequence : — 

The Good Old Days of Adam and Eve. 

1 sing, I sing of good times older. 
When men and women were the bolder. 
When bills were short and credit shorter. 
And when from malt they brew'd the porter ; 
When lawyers were too proud to pillage, 
And Horsley Down was but a village ; 
Christmas had its Christmas carols. 
And ladies' sides were hooped like barrels. 
Sing hey, sing ho ! I can but grieve 
For the good old days of Adam and Eve. 

When drinking ale made strong men stronger. 
And doctors made folks live the longer, 
When our grand-dads brew*d stout October, 
And thought it a sin to go to bed sober ; 
Then was the time for games and gambols, 
When Oxford Street was covered with brambles, 
Hedges and ditches, and ponds of water ; 
But now there's nothing but bricks and mortar. 

Sing hey, sing ho ! &c. 

When all young men they acted vrise in 
Getting up to see the lark arising, 
And could, unless I am much mistaken, 
Eat for breakfast a pound of bacon ; 

General Songs. 245 

But DOW our Toms and Jerrys gay, sir. 
See larks by nights and not by day, sir, 
Get in rows, and have long parleys. 
And, to save their bacon, floor the Charleys. 

Sing hey, siog ho ! &c. 

When this very place, now covered over. 
Was a field of wheat, or perhaps of clover, 
Two or three trees for the cattle to get under 
Out of the way of the lightning and thunder; 
No sound was heard but the sweet birds singing. 
Except some tune the London bells ringing; 
But now the birds hv away have fled, sir, 
And we are the birds wot sings instead, sir. 

Sing hey, sing ho ! &c. 

When ladies and gentlemen, without baulking, 
Could go into Hyde Park a-walking. 
And, without a bit of fuss or bother, 
Could walk from one end to the other ; 
But DOW there is a brazen statue. 
Who seems ashamed, for he can't look at you; 
The folks do say 'tis called a trophy. 
But the ladies won't look, and the men say, Oh fie ! 

Sifig hey, sing ho ! &c. 

When young folks, when they went a-wooing, 
Kept to themselves what they were doing, 
And did contrive their love to smother. 
Quite unbeknown to their father and mother; 
And then by a New Marriage Act so scarish 
They told the affair to all the parish. 
Took affidavits, and what is more, sirs. 
Their names they stuck upon the church door, sirs. 

Sing hey, sing ho I &c. 

246 In Praise rf Ale. 

When every inap» whether wwe or rocny, 
Was pleased at the right of a good old guinea ; 
The front of it had King George'f face on. 
And the back the armf and the old spade ace on ; 
But now the sovereigns, I can tell you. 
They are not worth so much in value ; 
And there St George is, without a rag on, 
Galloping over an ugly dragon. 

Sing hey, ring ho ! &c. 

Speaking of Adam and Eve, which somehow has become 
a tavern sign, it is not generally known that the ^ Adam and 
Eve " at the comer of Tottenham Court Road and Hampstead 
Road, London, was the house that the Guards started from 
when they msrched to Finchley to quell the 174$ rebellion. 
Hogarth, in his celebrated picture of *'The march of the 
Guards," gave a full view of the house as it then was. The 
tavern was originally a monaster}', and afterwards became the 
Manor of Tottenhill (hence Tottenham Court Road); then it 
became transformed into the celebrated Tea Gardens, with about 
two acres of pleasure gardens, and as fashionable in its way as 
the Yorkshire Stingo, Marylebone Gardens, Beulah Spa, and 
Saddler's Wells were in their palmy days. The memory of the 
bygone glories of the ^ Adam and Eve " is still perpetuated in 
Eden Street, now sacred to costermongers and factories. 

The Dame of Homour. 

Sung by Mrs Willies in the opera called '' The kingdom of 

the birds.'' To a new tune. 

Since now the world's tum'd upride down, 

And all things chang'd in nature. 
As if a doubt was newly grown, 

We had the same Creator ; 
Of ancient modes and former ways 

I'll teach you, rirs, the manner, 
In good Queen Bess's golden days, 

When 1 was a dame of honour. 

General Songs. 247 

1 had an ancient noble scat, 

Though now it 18 come to ruin, 
When mutton, beef, and such good meat 

In th' hall was daily chewing ; 
Of humming beer my cellar full 

I was a yearly donor. 
Where toping knaves had many a pull 

When I was a dame of honour. 

My men of homespun honest greys 

Had coats and comely badges ; 
They wore no dirty, ragged lace. 

Nor ere complained for wages. 
For gaudy frieze and silks o' the town 

I feared no threatening dunner. 
But wore a decent grosgrain gown 

When I was a dame of honour. 

My neighbours still I treated round, 

And strangers that came near me ; 
The poor, too, always welcome found, 

Whose prayers did still endear me. 
Let therefore those who at court would b? 

No churl nor yet no fawner, 
Match'd in old hospitality 

Queen Bess's dames of honour. 

"The Jovial Bear Ward" gives us a good picture of the 
times in which it was written. It is — well, forcibly written, and 
I have been obliged to Bowdlerise somt:what. 

Tho' it may seem rude 

For me to intrude 
With these my bears by chance a; 

'Twere sport for a king, 

If they could sing 
As well as they can dince a. 

248 Tn Praise of Ale. 

Then to put you out 
Of fear and doubt, 

I came from St Kaiberme a ; 
These dancing three, 
By the help of roe. 

Who am keep of the nne a. 

We sell good Ware, 
And we need not care, 

Tho' court and country knew it ; 
Our alc'8 o' th' beat, 
And each good guest 

Prays for their souls that brew it. 

For any ale-house 
We care not a louse, 

Nor tavern in all the town a, 
Nor the Fintry Crancjy 
Nor St Clement Danes, 

Nor the Devil can put us down a. 

Who has once here been 

Comes hither agen, 
The liquor is so mighty. 

Beer strong and stale, 

And so is our ale, 
And it burns like aqua viu. 

From morning to night, 

And about to daylight. 
They sit and never grudge it: 

Till the (ish wives join 

Their single coin. 
And the tinker pawns his budget. 

General Songs. 249 

From court we invite 

Lord, lady, and knight. 
Squire, gentleman, yeoman, and groom ; 

And all our suff drinken, 

Smiths, porters, and tinkers. 
And the beggars shall give you room. 

For the next I am also indebted to Mr Ebsworth*s collection, 
in which he ascribes the ballad to Richard Clunsall, and the 
music to William Lowes. I have only taken an extract ; the 
last verse is suggestive of the song which follows :— 

Hang Sorrow. 

Hang sorrow, let's cast away care, 

For now I do mean to be merry: 
We'll drink some good ale and strong beere, 

With sugar, and claret and sherry. 
Now lie have a wife of my own, 

I shall have no need to borrow ; 
I would have it for to be known, 

That I shall be married to-morrow. 
Here's a health to my bride that 'shall be ! 

Come pledge it, my coon merry blades ; 
The day I much long for to see. 

We will be as merry as the maides. 

Come drink, we cannot want drink, 

Observe how my pockets do jingle. 
For he that ukes his liquor all off, 

I here do adopt him mine ningle : 
Then range a health to our king, 

I mean the king of October, 
For Bacchus is he, that will not agree 

A man should go to bed sober, 
'TIS wine both neat and fine 

That is the face's adorning, 
No doctor can cure with his physic more sure. 

Than a cup of small beer in the roonuog. 

250 In Praise rf Ale, 

•* King George he was horn in the month of October ^ 
^Tij a tin for a sulject to go to bed sober ^ — 

Carey, 1740. 

Come, Landlord, fill the Flouikg Bowl. 

Thif popular song was founded on one which originally ap- 
peared in " Fletcher's Bloody Brother." 

Come, landlord, fill a flowing bowl, until it does run over ; 
To-night we all will merry be, to-morrow we'll get sober. 

He that drinks strong beer, and goes to bed mellow, 
Lives as he ought to live, and dies a heaity fellow. 

Punch cures the gout, the colic and the tisic. 
And is to all men the very best of physic. 

He that drinks small beer, and goes to bed sober. 
Falls as the leaves do that die in October. 

He that drinks strong beer and goes to bed mellow, 
Lives as he ought to live, and dies a happy fellow. 

He that courts a pretty girl, and courts her for her pleasure. 
Is a fool to marfy her without a store of treasure. 

Now let us dance and sing, and drive away all sorrow. 
For perhaps wc may not meet again to-morrow. 

The lines in the above are generally repeated ad lib.^ and taken 
up as a full and lusty chorus. 

Here is the song referred to in the above note ; — 

<* Drink to-day and drown all sorrow, 
You shall perhaps not do it to-morrow : 
Best while you have it, use your breath, 
There is no drinking after death. 

Gemral Songs. 2 5 1 

Wine works the heart up» waket the wit — 
There if no cure 'gainst age but it — 
It helps the head-ache, cougb» and ptisick, 
And if for all difeases physick. 

Then let us swill, boys, for our health ; 
Who drinks well, loves the Conamonwealth, 
And he that will to bed go sober. 
Falls with the leaf, still in October. ' 

The above song was supposed by Bell to have been adapted 
rather than written by Fletcher, the probable date is about 164O. 
Two lines of the first verse appear in the Bacchanalian song of 
•• Down among the dead men'* 2 — 

** Come ]et*s drink it while we've breath, 
For there's no drinking after death.*' 

English Ale. 

Words by Harrison Ainsworth. Music by G. H. Rodwell. 
Cramer & Co. This used to be trolled out by Paul Bedford. 

Oh, froth me a flagon of English ale, 
Stout and old and as amber pale. 
Which heart and head will alike assail. 

Ale, ale be mine. 
Or brew me a pottle of sturdy sack, 
Sherris and spice with a toast at its back. 
And need shall be none to bid me attack 

That drink divine. 

Or brew me a pottle of sturdy sack, 
And need shall be none to bid me attack 

That drink divine ! 

That drink divine ! 

252 In Praise of Ale. 

Still I prefer a flagon of ale, ha ! ha ! 

Stout and old, ha ! ha ! and as amber pale, ha ! hu ! 

Which heart and head will alike assail. 
Ale, ale be mine. Ale, ale. 
Fine old English ale ! ale, ale. 
Fine old English ale ! Ale be mine ! 

Your Gaul may tipple his thin, thin wine. 
And prate of its hue and its fragrance fine. 

Shall never a drop pass throat of mine again, again. 
His claret is meagre, but let that pass; 
I can't say much for his hippocrass, 
And never more will I fill my glass 

With cold champaign. 
His claret is meagre (but let that pass). 
And never more will I fill my glass 
With cold, with cold champaign. 

With cold champaign. 
For, oh, I prefer a flagon of ale, ha ! ha ! 
Stout and dd, ha ! ha ! and as amber pale, ha ! ha ! 
Which heart and head will alike assail. Ale, ale, be mine, 
Ale, ale, fine old English ale, ale, ale. 
Fine old English ale be mine. 

When Bstimes in the Morn. 

When betimes in the mom to the fields we repair. 

There to range where the game may be seated, 
At the sound of the horn all disturbance and care 

Fly away at the noise as defeated. 
When the hounds do cry, care and strife do fly, 

Having nothing at all to oppose it. 
Away goes the fox to his holes in the rocks, 

As the lawyer and statesman their closet. 

General Songs. 253 

When the game breaks away, then we call up the hounds, 

And raise up a hollo to cheer them ; 
So the echo, that then through the woods does resound, 

Rejoices the hearts that do hear them. 
Then Jingle doth roar, hearing Jowler before, 

Rare music make Sweet-lips and Mally ; 
The musical noise makes the huntsman rejoice, 

And the squat makes the pack for to rally. 

When, casting about, we find her anew. 

Then we call up the hounds that are straying ; 
Coming up with a shout, we give them a view, 

While we're able to keep her a playing. 
And when she grows weak, and her life is at stake, 

And we*re able to make her a seizure, 
'Tis then at our will to save or to kill, 

Then home we return at our leisure. 

And when we come home we get as good cheer 

As our loving dames can provide us ; 
We drink and carouse with strong ale and beer, 

Have nothing at all to divide us. 
We rise in a ring, we dance and we sing, 

We've enough of our own, need not borrow. 
Can the court of a king yield a pleasanter thing, 

We're to-day just as we'll be to-morrow. 

Song from the Turnpike Gate. 

By T. Knight, 

With a merry tale 

Sergeants beat the drum ; 
Noddles full of ale 

Village lads they hum : 
Soldiers out go all. 

Famous get in story ; 
if they chance to fall 

Don't they sle«p in glory 

Towdy rowdy dow, Uz. 

254 I^ Praisi of Ale. 

Lawyers try when fee'd, 

Juries to make pliant ; 
If they can't succeed, 

Then they hum their client ; 
To perfection come 

Humming all the trade is, 
Ladies lovers hum 

Lovers hum the ladies. 

Towdy rowdy dow, &c. 

Han't Britannia's sons 

Often hunun'd mounseer ?— 
Han't they humm'd the Dons 

Let their fleets appear. 
Strike they must though loth 

(Ships vrith dollars cramm'd) 
If they're not humm'd both 

Then I will be d— d. 

Towdy rowdy dow, &c. 

Hunters, lawyers, soldiers, doctors, and divinities, all seemed 
to be mixed up with beer, which never fails the heart to cheer 
under any circumstances. According to the next from 
D'Urfey, a foraging expedition in Flanders, where our troops 
learnt to swear (and, according to Sterne, did swear horribly)^ 
had its drawbacks as well as its consolations in an ale house. 

The Pig's March. 

Operatic Song, 

Trooping with bold commanders, 
Dubf dub a dub, dub a dub, dub, dub. 

To charge our foes, 

In frost and snows. 
With hopes of plunder big, 
Late as we march'd thro' Flanders, 
Taniarra, rarra, tantarra. 

General Songs. 255 

Hunger and cold 

Having made me bold, 
In knapsack I cramm'd a Pig-a, 
fFeeif week, weei, aqocak'd the Pig» 
Ogh, ogh, oghf gruntf the low. 

Yet she ran as fast as I, 

And tho' $ynh away I fly, 
Yet she ran as fast as I 

Scowring into an alehouse, 
Dub, dub a dub, dub a dub, dub, dub. 
Where I for shot 
Paid many a pot 
And many had left on score 
Amongst my Comrades and Fellows, 
TantarrOy rarra^ tantarra. 

Scarce with my prize 

Had 1 blest their eyes, 
But the sow too was at the door, 
IVeek^ weei, weei, squeaks the Pig, 
Oghy oghy oghf grunts the sow, 

Such noises were never heard before. 

Set the house in a foul uproar. 

Mawdling the bouncing hostess, 

Dub, dub a dub, dub a dub, dub, dub, 
Presently pufHng came, 
With a face inflam'd 
And as red as a rump of beef. 
Threatens me with a justice, 
Tantarra^ rarra^ tantarra. 

'Till flat on the ground 

I thump'd her down 
For daring to call me thief, 

Then Vfeehy w^i, wrri, loud she squeak'd, 

256 In Praise of Ale. 

Then pghy ogh^ ogh, like the sow, 
Till at last in the woful fray 
The pig too got quite away. 

Read what Phillipf says : — 

There, on well fuePd hearth they chat. 
Whilst black-pots walk the round with laughing ale 
Surcharged ; or brew'd in planetary hour, 
When March weigh 'd night and day in equal scale : 
Or in October sunn'd, and mellow grown 
With seven revolving suns, the racy juice, 
Strong with delicious flavour, strikes the sense. 

• • * * • 

What though Britannia boasts 
Herself a world, with ocean circumfus'd ? 
'Tis ale that warms her sons t'assert her claim 
And with full volley makes her naval tubes 
Thunder disastrous doom to opponent powers! 

• • • • • 

Allan Ramsay follows the same strain in the Gentle Shep- 

*< I'll yoke my slid, and send to the neist town. 
And bring a draught of ale both stout and brown ; 
And gar our cottars a', man, wife, and wean, 
Drink till they tine the gate to stand their lane.*' 

The author of the tale of a Pig in a Poke is not to be outdone. 

" A half-way house convenient stood, 
Where host was kind and ale was good $ 
In steps the clown, and calls to Cecil — 
* A quart of stout, to wet my whistle ! ' 
Eased of his load, he takes a chair, 
And quaffs oblivion to all care. 
With potent ale his heart grows warm. 
Which drunk or sober means no harm." 

General Songs. 257 

The « British Orpheuf " fbllowi suit :— 

By the Gaily CncuNG Glass. 

By the gaily circling glass 
We can see how minutes pass ; 
By the hollow flask we're told. 
How the waning night grows old. 

How the waning night grows old. 

Soon, too soon, the busy day, 
Drives us from our sport away ; 
What have we with day to do ? 
Sons of Care, 'twas made for you ! 

Sons of Care, 'twas made for you. 

By the silence of the owl ; 

By the chirping on the thorn ; 
By the butts that empty roll ; 

We foretell the approach of mom. 
Fill, then, fill the vacant glass ; 

Let no precious moment slip ; 
Flout the nx>ralising ass ; 

Joy finds entrance at the lips. 

Ford and Dekker keep the fun up ha and furiously in the play 
of ••The Sun's Darling," 1623 :— 

Cast away Care. 

Cast away care ; he that loves sorrow 
Lengthens not a day, nor can buy to-morrow ; 
Money is trash ; and he that will spend it. 
Let him drink merrily, Fortune will send it. 

Merrily, merrily, merrily. Oh, ho ! 

Play it off stifRy, we may not part so. 

258 In Praise cf Ale. 

Wine is a chanD, it heats the blood too. 
Cowards it will amiy if the wine be good too ; 
Quickens the wit, and makes the back able ; 
Scorn to submit to the watch or constable. 

Merrily, 5cc. 

Pots fly about, give us more liquor, 
Brothers of a root, our brains will flow quicker 
Empty the cask ; score up, we care not, 
FUl all the pots again, drink on, and spare not. 

Merrily, 5cc. 

Among the dramatists, Sheridan's songs will always hold a 
conspicuous place, especially his trio : — 

A Bumper of Good Lioyoiu 

A bumper of good liquor 
Will end a contest quicker 
Than justice, judge, or vicar ; 

So fill a cheerful glass 

And let good humour pass. 

But if more deep the quaixel, 
Why sooner drain the barrel 
Than be the hateful fellow, 
That's crabbed when he's mellow. 

So fill a cheerful glass 

And let good humour pass. 

Bums inculcates a similar genial philosophy : — 

^ When neebours anger at a plea. 
Ah' just as wud as wud can be, 
How easy can the barley-brce 

Cement the quarrel ! 
It's aye the cheapest lawyer's fee 

To taste the barrel." 

General Songs. 259 

Bachanalian Sono. 

By Mr PhUips. 

Come, fil] me a glass, fill it high, 
A bumper, a bumper I'll have: 
He's a fool that will flinch, I'll not bate an inch. 
Though 1 drink myself into my grave. 

Here's a health to all those jolly souls 
Who, like me, will never give o*er, 
Whom no danger controb, but will take off their bowls. 
And merrily stickle for more. 

Drown Reason and all such weak foes, 
I scorn to obey her command ; 
Could she ever suppose I'd be led by the nose 
And let my glass idly stand ? 

Reputation 's a bugbear to fools, 
A foe to the joys of dear drinking. 
Made use of by tools, who'd set us new rules. 
And bring us to politic thinking. 

Fill them all, I'll have six in a hand, 
For I've trifled an age away; 
Tis in vain to command, the fleeting sand 
Rolls on and cannot stay. 

Come* my lads, move the glass, drink about. 
We'll drink the whole universe dry. 
We'll set foot to foot and drink it all out, 
If once we grow sober we die. 

There is a wonderful unanimity of opinion as to the virtues of 
good ale amongst novelists as well as the dramatists. Thomas 

ft 2 

26o h Praise (f Ale. 

Holcroft, in his ttory of Hugh Treror, intersperses a tery 
favourite song, winding np with an appropriate moral : — 

Gaffer Geay. 

Ho ! why dost thou shiver and shake. 

Gaffer Gray ! 
And why doth thy nose look so blue ? 
" Tis the weather that's cold, 
'Tis I'm grown very old, 
And my doublet is not very new, 


Then line thy worn doublet with ale, 

Gafler Gray, 

And warm thy old heart with a glass. 

" Nay, but credit I've none, 

And my money's all gone ; 

Then say how may that come to pass? 


Hie away to the house on the brow, 

Gaffer Gray ; 
And knock at the jolly priest's door. 
«* The priest often preaches 
Against worldly riches ; 
But ne'er gives a mite to the poor. 

The lawyer lives under the hill, 

Gafler Gray, 
Warmly fenc'd both in back and in front* 
<« He will fasten his locks. 
And will threaten the stocks, 
Should he evermore find me in want. 
Well-a-day I" 

General Songs. 261 

The 'Squire has fat beeves and brown ale. 

Gaffer Gray, 
And the season will welcome you there. 
^ His hi beeves and his beer 
And his merry new year 
Are all for the flush and the fiur. 

My keg u but low, I confess. 

Gaffer Gray. 
What then ? while it lasts, man, we'll live. 
** The poor man alone, 
When he hears the poor moan, 
Of his morsel a morsel will give. 

Even Thomas Love Peacock, whose quaint and humorous 
alliterative novels will bear reading and re-reading, follows the 
general lead in '' Headlong Hall," where Mr Chromatic, ** the 
most profound and scientific of all amateurs of the fiddle," sings 
the following de^mortuit song in honour of Sir Peter : — 

Thr££ TiMU Thuee. 

In his last binn Sia Pcter lies, 

Who knew not what it was to frown \ 
Death took him mellow, by surprise. 

And in his cellar stopped him down. 
Through all our land we could not boast 

A knight more gay, more prompt than he 
To rise and fill a bumper toast. 

And pass it round with three times three. 

None better knew the feast to sway. 

Or keep Mirth's boat in better trim; 
For Nature had but little clay 

Like that of which she moulded him. 

a62 In Praise of Ale. 

The meaoeet guest that graced his board 

Was there the freest of the free, 
His hamper toast when Peter poured 

And passed it round with three times threk. 

He kept at true good humour's mark 

The social flow of pleasure's tide, 
He never made a brow look dark 

Nor caused a tear but when he died. 
No sorrow round his tomb should dwell : 

More pleased his gay old ghost would be, 
For funeral song and passing bell, 

To hear no sound but three times three. 

In common with «* Sir Peter," " Tom Moody, the Whipper 
in Well," " The Dropsical Man," celebrated by Mr W. Taylor, 
had the ruling passion strong in death : — 

The Dropsical Man. 

A jolly brave toper who cou'd not forbear, 

Tho' his life was in danger, old port and stale beer. 

Gave the doctors the hearing, but still wou'd drink on, 

Till the dropsy had swell'd him as big as a tun. 

The more he took physic the worse still he grew. 

And tapping was now the last thing he cou'd do. 

Affairs, at this crisis, and doctors come down, 

He began to consider — so sent for his son. 

Tom, see by what courses I've shortened my life, 

I'm leaving the world ere I'm forty-and-five ; 

More than probable 'tis, that in twenty-four hours. 

This manor, this house, and estate will be yours. 

My early excesses may teach you this truth, 

That 'tis working for death to drink hard in one's youth. 

Says Tom (who's a lad of a generous spirit. 

And not like young rakes who're in haste to inherit), 

General Songs. 263 

Sir, don't be disheaiten'd ; altho' it be true, 
Th' operation is painful and hazardous too, 
'Tis no more than what many a man has gone thro\ 
And then, as for years, you may yet be calPd young, 
Vour life after this may be happy and long. 
Don't flatter me, Tom, was the Other's reply, 
With a jest in his mouth and a tear in his eye; 
Too well, by experience, my vessels, thou koow'st, 
No sooner are tap'd but they give up the ghost 

A Glass op Rich Brown Ale. 

Jesse Hammond. 

Air, Tife Ltui of Richmond Hill. 

Let gallants boast their bowers of bliss 

And raptured scenes of love ; 
Their feast a sigh — their heaven a Iciss^ 
Their Paradise the grove : 
But I have more 
True bliss in store. 
And joys that never fail 
Whilst friendship's shrine 
My cot is mine. 
And a glass of rich brown ale. 

Let misers turn their riches o'er. 

And gaze on bags of gold ; 
With my wealth they must be poor 
When all their treasure's told ; 
But 1 have naore 
True wealth in store, 
And joys that never fail 
Whilst friendship's shrine 
My cot is mine. 
And a glass of rich brown ale. 

264 In Praise rf Ale. 

Let monarchty in their marble domes. 

Boast a mach grander lot ; 

I envy not their splendid homes 

Whilst monarch of my cot ! 

There I have more 

True bliss in store, 
And joys that never fail 

Whilst friendship's shrine 

My cot is mine, 
And a glass of rich brown ale. 

Here is a capital modem song, the words being wedded to a 
rattling good tune. We believe the song was published originally 
by Messrs Cocks & Co., of New Burlington Street, and is one 
of the best modem songs extant : — 

A Glass of Old Enoush Ale. 
Words by J. Caxton. Music by Mallardaine. 

They talk about their foreign wines —champagne and bright 

And think because they're from abroad, that we must like them 

And of their wholesome qualities they tell a wondrous tale ; 
But sour or sweet, they cannot beat a glass of old English ale. 

^^m/— So come what will, boys, drink it still, 
Your checks 'twill never pale ; 
Their foreign stuff is well enough, but give me 
Old English ale, my boys. 
But give me old English ale. 

When schoolboy friends meet once again, who have not met for 

Say, over what will they sit down, and talk of their careers, 
Your «* wishy washy " wines won't do, and fiery spirits fail. 
For nothing blends the heart of friends like good old English ale. 

So come what will, 5cc. 

General Songs. 265 

D'ye think my eye would be m bright, my heart as light and gay. 
If I and '< old John Barleycorn " did not shake hands each day ? 
No, no ; and though teetotalers at malt and hops may rail, 
At them I'll laugh and gaily quaff my glass of old English ale. 

So come what will, &c. 

Cowley translated a grand ode of Anacreon in fiifour of liberal 
drinking, drawing his inspiration from Nature herself:— 

Ode to Dunking 

The thirsty earth soaks up the rain, 
And drinks, and gapes for drink again. 
The plants suck in the earth, and are 
With constant drinking fresh and fair ; 
The sea itself (which one would think 
Should have but little need of drink) 
Drinks twice ten thousand rivers up, 
So fiird that they o'erflow the cup. 
The busy sun (and one would guess 
By *8 dmnken fiery face no less) 
Drinks up the sea, and, when he's done, 
The moon and stars drink up the sun : 
They drink and dance by their own light ; 
They drink and revel all the night. 
Nothing in nature 's sober found. 
But an eternal health goes round. 
Fill up the bowl, then fill it high. 
Fill all the glasses there, for why 
Should every creature drink but I ; 
Why, man of morals, tell me why ? 

Lansdown, in his '< Invocation to Sleep," has caught some of 
the Anacreontic spirit : — 

Invocation to Sleep. 

Great God of Sleep, since it must be. 
That we must give some hours to thee, 

2 66 In Praise of Ale. 

Invade me not while the het bowl 

Glows in my cheeks, and warms my soul ; 

That be my only time to snore. 

When I can laugh, and drink no more ; 

Short, very short be then thy reign. 

For I'm in haste to laugh and drink again. 

But O ! if melting in my arms, 

In some soft dream, with all her charms. 

The nymph belov'd should then surprise. 

And grant what waking she denies ; 

Then, gentle slumber, pr*ythee stay, 

Slowly, ah ! slowly bring the day, 

Let no rude noise my bliss destroy. 

Such sweet delusion's real joy. 

After so many odes and solos a part song may not be out of 
place. The next « Three Man Song," from " The Shoemaker's 
Holiday," 1600^ was once an universal favourite. 

Three Man Song. 

Cold's the wmd and wet's the rain, 
Saint Hugh be our good speed: 

111 is the weather that bringeth no gain, 
Nor helps good hearts in need. 

Trowl the bowl, the jolly nut-brown bowl, 

And here kind mate to thee. 
Let's sing a dirge for Saint Hugh's soul. 

And down it merrily. 

Down a down, hey down a down. 
Hey deny, derry, down a down, 
Ho, well done to let me come, 
Ring compass, gentle joy. 

General Songs. 267 

Trowl the bowl, the nut-brown bowl, 

And here, kind mate, to thee, 
Let's sing a dirge for Saint Hugh's soul 

And down it merrily. 

Cold's the wind and wet's the rain, 

Saint Hugh be our good speed, 
111 is the weather that bringeth no gain, 

Nor helps good hearts in need. 

The next two catches are from Mr Ebsworth's collection of 
" Choyce Drollery " :— 

** Drink, boys, drink, boys, drink and doe not spare, 
Troul away the bowl and take no care. 
So that we have meat and drink, and money and clothes. 
What care we, what care we how the world goes?" 

A Catch. 

Tis ale, my bonny lads, is as brown as a berry; 
Then let us be merry here an houre, 
And drink it ere its soure 

Here's to thee, lad, 

Come to me, lad ; 
Let it come, boy, to my thumb, boy. 
Drink it off. Sir, 'tis enough. Sir; 
Fill mine host Tom's pot and toast. 

The next is taken from the play of " Love for Love,' by 
William Congreve (i672.i728) : — 

" Prithee fill me the glass, 

Till it laugh in my face, 
With ale that is potent and mellow ; 

He that whines for a lass 

Is an ignorant ass, 
For a bumper has not its fellow. 

268 In Praise of Ale, 

We'll drink and we'll never ha* done, boys, 
Put the glass then around with the sun, boys^ 
Let Apollo's example invite us ; 

For he's drunk every night. 

And that makes him so bright. 
That he's able next morning to light us. 

To drink is a Christian diversion. 
Unknown to the Turk or the Persian : 

Let Mahometan fools 

Live by heathenish rules, 
And be damned over tea-cups and coffee ; 

But let British lads sing. 

Crown a health to the king. 
And a fig for your Sultan and Sophy. 

Thos. Ravenscroft, author of " Tosse the pot, tosse the pot," 
is answerable for: — 

One Tooth is Dry. 

Trudge away quickly and fill the black bole 
Devoutly as long as we bide ; 
Now welcome, good fellows, both strangers and all, 
Let madness and mirth set sadness aside. 

Of all reckonings I love good cheere. 

With honest folks in company: 

And, when drunke, comes my part for to beare, 

For still methinks one tooth is drye. 

Love is a pastime for a king 
If one be seen in phisnomie; 
But I love well this pot to wing, 
For still methinks one tooth is drye. 

General Songs. 269 

Masterly this is all my desirey 
I woulde no druoke should passe us by; 
Let us now sing and mend the fier. 
For sdlJ roethinks one tooth is dr3re. 

Mr. Butler, give us a taste 

Of your best drink so gently: 

A jugge or twaine and make no waste. 

For still methinks one tooth is drye. 

Mr. Butler, of this take part 
(Ye love good drinke as well as I) ; 
And drink to me with all your hearty 
For still roethinks one tooth is drye. 

Here is an imitation of Herr V. Muhler's famous song, written 
by F. C. H. in NoUi and Queries : — 

The Drunkard's Conceit. 

Straight from the tavern door 1 am come here; 
Old road, how odd to me thou dost appear! 
Right and left, changing sides, rising and sunk; 
Oh, I can plainly see, road, thou art drunk! 

Oh, what a twisted face thou hast, O moon ! 

One eye shut, t'other eye wide as a spoon. 

Who could have dreamt of this? Shame on thee, shame! 

Thou hast been fuddling, jolly old dame! 

Look at the lamps again ; see how they reel ! 
Nodding and flickering round as they wheel. 
Not one among them all steady can go; 
Look at the drunken lamps, all in a row. 

2 /O In Praise cf Ale. 

All m an uproar seem, great things and small; 
I am the only one sober at all ; 
But there's no safety here for sober men, 
So 111 turn back to the tavern again. 

The Gentkmaa^i Magaxine^ I737> contains a capital ode on : — 

Enolish Ale. 

By Astrophy. 

AJel theme inspiring mirth and tuneful song, 
O be, like thee, my lay dear, smootli, and strong; 
Whether alone from soft molasses boil'd. 
Or brew'd with hop, by sots plain poiter stil'd, 
Or in coarse bottle or decanter clean, 
Wrought plate, or homely jack, or pewter mean — 
Howe'er conveyed, to thy renown I bring 
This laboured verse: aid thou the muse to sing. 
Chief at our han'cst home or Christmas cheer, 
Or Whitsun wake, thy circling cups appear. 
Fav'rite of gossips at the groaning treat, 
Where the full brimmer tells there's no deceit. 
To vestry officers, in liv'ry drest, 
How pleasing, roaming on th' ungrateful quest: 
Nor to th' expecting mob, on signal days. 
Less welcome shouting wind, ye bonfire's blaze. 
In wintry alehouse, fam'd for smoak and noise, 
Thy tankard crowns tlie toil'd mechanic's joys; 
And at elections, 'mid each party tribe. 
Prove, for the casting vote, the safest bribe. 
In happier times, ere tea's debauching mode 
Did the brown bowl and nutmeg toast explode — 
Ere the fine toast were taught ye, squeambh belle. 
Ale, nappy breakfast, pleas'd her choice as well. 
Then rosy tinctures, then a lively air 
(Not, as now, wan and languid) grac'd the fair; 

General Songs. 2 7 1 

Then ye spic'd hot-pot, rich with sprightly Nantz, 
Cou'd treat, in lieu of Bordeaux, spruce gallants. 
But good old customs long depos'd we see; 
The dear, dear vogue la a la mode Parte* 
Desist, just satyr, trace thy milder theme. 
Nor sadden humour with the glooms of phlegm. 
Be in thy verse ale's numerous species shown, 
From the same grain by various titles known. 
Bright amber, prized by the luxurious town. 
The pale-hued Dorchester, the stout nut-brown; 
Beer differenced with the butt's distinguished name. 
And purl, supporter of the long-liv'd dame. 
In the grape's praise Anacreon's numbers shine, 
And gentler Flaccus sung the charms of wine : 
The apple's fame sweet Phillips' lays impart. 
And barley, thou shalt claim my humbler art. 
How blest, could, in thy turn, thy bard regale — 
Peculiar wish — with Oxford's fav'rite ale. 
Quaff'd by old Isis' banks in sylvan scenes. 
Or, with good fellows, wind the horn at Queen's. 
Delicious viands, boon of Ceres' hand, 
To Britons given — thy native, happy land. 
How would thy traffic spread, thy credit rise, 
O ! had'st thou but more malt — and less excise. 

Mr Poole, who was butler to a nobleman, also gives a very good 
song in his work on the ** Art of Brewing," but whether it is 
original or not he omits to state : — 

English Bright Beer. 

When humming bright beer was an Englishman's taste, 
Our wives they were merry, our daughters were chaste. 
Their breath smelt like roses whenever embraced. 

Oh, the bright beer of old England ! 

Oh, the old English bright beer ! 

272 In Praise cf Ale. 

Ere'coiiee and tea found the way to the town. 
Our ancestors by their own fire sat down ; 
Their bread it was white, and their beer it was brown. 

Ohy the brown beer, &c. 

Our heroes of old, of whose conquest we boast. 
Would make a good meal of a pot and a toast ; 
This maxim ne'er failed m ruling the roast. 

Ohy the brown beer, &c. 

When the great Spanish fleet on our coast did appear. 
Our sailors each one drank a flagon of beer. 
And sent them away with a flea in their ear. 

Ob, the bright beer, flee. 

Our dergymen then took a cup of good beer. 
Ere they mounted the rostrum, their spirits to cheer ; 
They preach'd against vice, altho' courtiers were near. 

Oh, the bright beer, flee. 

Their doctrines were then authentic and bold. 
Well grounded on scripture and Euhers of old ; 
But now they preach nothing but what they are told. 

Oh, the bright beer, flee. 

For since the Geneva and strong ratafie. 

We are dwindled to nothing — but stay let me see — 

Faith ! nothing at all but mere fiddle-de-dee. 

Oh, the bright beer, flee. 

I am indebted to Messrs Read Brothers, of Kentish Town, 
whose name is known in all parts of the world, for the following 
prose poem on Burton ale, beloved of Britons in all quarters of 
that empire on which the sun never sets. As a specimen of 
Antipodean literature it is rich and racy, and does excellent credit 
to the worthy scribe who penned it The Australians may be 
Aley-uns, they will never become aliens. *• It's brisk as bottled 
ale : "— 

General Songs. 273 

Yl Olde Enclyshe Ale. 

" Henr's a pot of good double bef r, neighbour ; drink and fear 
not your man." And as wittye Master Shakespeare hath again 
well sayde, " It illumtnateth the hce^ warmeth the blood, and 
maketh it course from the inwards to the parts extreme." 

Albeit such sturdy liquor hath in these latter dayes bene dis- 
placed by ye ^mous drynk hight ** pale ale," of most deserved 
renowne and right worthie of a kinge's ransome for ye satisfying 
of ye hot and droughty thirst — such as ye brand of ye Bull 
Dogge's Head never fayleth to quench withaL 

Ye light, nimble, and ethereal properties of ye Bull Dogge's 
Head pale ale are commended of all, and ye good wights much 
delight therein, for they may drink thereof without stynt, and 
further prayse were but as gilding to much refined gold. 

But although for several 1 reasons it is not wisht to check ye 
full and liberal consumption of ye Bull Dogge's Head pale ale, 
yet tis no heresie to afHrme that at tymes, and especially in ye chill 
winter season, men seek some greater sustenance and nutriment. 

Nowe, verilie, there is then no such good and wholesome a 
drynk as ye old Burton ale — ye natural! wine of ye barley — and 
nowe well nigh as extinct as ye andent arquebus. 

Therefore, with manie cunning devyces, right skylfull knowledge, 
and eke greate expenses, such olde Englyshe ale, at ye desire of 
Maisters Read Brothers (ye bottlers of Kentish Town, neere unto 
London), hath bene once more compounded alone from ye 
generous malt and ye fragrant hop, which latter in moderation is 
approved of greate and singular vertue. 

Tis sayde that **everie god£ither can give a name," so call 
we this liquor ^ olde Englyshe ale " as its most appertinent and 
befitting title. 

It were impossible to divine what rare and funciflil conceits are 
engendered of such generous liquor and ye rare vertues it con- 
uiyneth, for one may affirme of thilke ale that it excelleth much 
in driving away carking care, giving wytte to ye dul spright, jollitie 
and pleasaunce to ye mirthfiill, and braverie to all such as doe lack 

274 In Praise rf Ale. 

courage. Yet it behoveth one to be discrete, and to drinkc onlye 
with becoming prudence, in signe whereof it is sent out onlye in 
ye bottles yclept ** pints." 

Such as may desyre to obtayn of this goodlie ale should hie 
them straitway to Cattell and Co., ye onlye importers in Sydney. 

The annexed, from « The Myrdc and the Vine " ( 1 800), is 
interesting as giving the names of London brewers who flourished 
at that date: — 

A Pot of Porter, Ho ! 

When to Old England I come home, 

Fal lal, fal, lal, la! 
What joy to see the tankard foam, 

Fal lal, fal, lal, la! 
When treading London's well-known ground 

If e'er I feel my spirits tire, 
I haul my sail, look up around 

In search of Whitbread's best entire. 
I spy the name of Calvert, 

Of Curtis, Cox, and Co. ; 
I give a cheer and bawl for 't, 

•« A pot of porter, ho!" 

When to old England I come home, 
What joy to see the tankard foam ! 
With heart so light, and frolic high, 
I drink it off to liberty! 

Where wine and water can be found, 

Fal lal, fal, lal, la! 
I've traveird hr the world around, 

Fal lal, fal, lal, la! 
Again, I hope, before I die, 
Of England's can the uste to try; 
For many a league I'd go about 
To uke a draught of Gifford's stouL 

General Songs. 275 

I qyy the name of Tranian, 

Of Maddox, Metix, and Cp* ; 
The sight makes me a new man* 

** A pot of porter, ho! " 

When to old England, &c. 

Of modern songs I think the song from ^ Martha," " What 
shall I Drink?" to be about the best in words, and it if 
wedded to an appropriate and inspiriting air. I am indebted to 
the courtesy of Messrs Hutchings & Romer of Conduit Street, 
Regent Street, for permission to reprint the words, and would 
refer to them for the music. 

What shall I Drink ? 

Chi Aft Dira. 

What shall I drink? with what must I fill 
This old brown jug dull care to kill. 

Or drive the spell away? 
Naught in the world can equal beer. 
Which never fails the heart to cheer? 
And all true Britons love their beer, 
And all true Britons love their beer! 
Jove's ambrosia surely was beer, my boys ! 
He liked a drop of good beer, my boys, hurrah ! 
Tra la la, la la la la la la! 

Jore's ambrosia was surely beer, my boys! 
He lik*d a drop of good beer, my boys! 
Hurrah! tra la la, la la la la la ! tra la. 

When dull care hangs over the brow. 
What drives the foe to distant scenes away? 

Can no one say? 
*Tis that good gift to man so dear, 
l^'is cheering, sparkling, nut-brown been 

s 2 

276 In Praise of Ale. 

That Dever fails the heart to cheer. 

That never feils the heart to cheer! 

The good luck to pure malt and hops, my boys, my boys! 

May our fanners rejoice in good crops, my boys, hurrah ! 

Tra la la, la la la la la la 1 

Jove's ambrosia, &c. 

Here is another song from *< Martha," probably from a different 
libretto. The words are by W. West, and the music published 
by Messrs Ashdown & Parry, to whom I am indebted for per- 
mission to reproduce : — 

John Barleycorn. 

Those were the days, of old. 

When Britain's sons so brave and bold. 

Their noble hearts to cheer, 

Could quaff John Barleycorn tax free, 

Scorning Souchong and black Bohea, 

They'd drink of the bright, the home-brew'd beer — 

There's nothing so good the heart to cheer. 

No! ambrosia fine 'tis as good as wine. 

Clear, strong, and richer than good Rhine wine. 

Hurrah ! nothing like beer, like old English beer, hurrah ! 

What is it that makes an Englishman brave. 

Sooner than spirits that send to the grave? 

Barley, drink divine I 

Better than all your meagre wine, 

Weakening stuff your poor thin wine; 

Then fill up a cup with hearty cheer. 

There's nothing like beer the heart to cheer. 

No! ambrosia fine 'tis good as wine. 

Clear, strong, and richer than good Rhine wine. 

Hurrah! nothing like beer, like old English beer, hurrah! 

General Songs. 277 

I can't say much in favour of the next modern producdon, 
though at one time it was a popular music haJl song of 
MacLaghlan's. The music is published by Messrs H. D' Alcorn 
& Co. of Rathbone Place : — 

Brrrni Beek. 

The subject of my little song is one I hold most dear, 
It supports our constitution, and it will for many a year; 
John Bully indeed, would be defunct, or else look very queer. 
If Bass and Co. should cease to brew their glorious bitter beer. 
Allsopp, Bass, and Salt, they each deserve a monument. 

So give them while you're here ; 
Three cheers for Bass and Allsopp too, 

And their glorious bitter beer. 

Pve tasted hock and claret too, Madeira and Moselle, 
But not one of those boshy wines revives this languid swell ; 
Of all complaints from A to Z, the fact is very clear, 
There's no disease but what's been cured by glorious bitter beer. 

Allsopp, Bass, and Salt, &c. 

Tve lived in Scotland many years, and drank its mountain dew ; 
I don't deny but what it's good, and a stimulant, 'tis true; 
I'm far from being prejudiced, as some may think, I fear. 
Yet give to me a cooling draught of glorious bitter beer. 

Allsopp, Bass, and Salt, 6cc. 

Old Ireland's drink I have imbibed — yes, Kinnahan*s double L. 
And Kitty Trainer's famed potheen, and Dunville's, too, as well ; 
A glass of punch, of course, I know, will oft your spirits, cheer; 
But still my favourite beverage is glorious bitter b?er. 

Allsop)), Bass, and Salti Sec, 

1 78 In Praise of Ale. 

That ale is not inimical to longevity is shown by the following 
extract from Taylor's (the water poet) epiuph on Old Parr : — 

** He was of old Pythagoras' opinion. 
That green cheese was most wholesome with an onion ; 
Coarse meslin bread, and for his daily swig. 
Milk, butter-milk, and water, whey and whig: 
Sometimes metheglin, and by fortune happy, 
He sometimes sipped a cup of ale most nappy. 
Cider or perry when he did repair 
T' a Whitsun-ale wake, wedding, or a fair; 
Or when in Christmas-time he was a guest 
At his good landlord's house among the rest. 
Else he had little leisure-time to waste; 
Or at the ale-house huff-cup ale to uste." 

The Cornishmen come next to Old Parr in living to a re- 
specuble old age. According to Burton, one Polyen lived to 
1 309 a kinsman of his to 11 2, and one Beauchamp to 1 06. 
Carey made the following epitaph on a once well-known char- 
acter who died m that county: — 

** Here Brawn, the quondam beggar, lies. 
Who counted by his tale 
Some six score winters and above — 
Such virtue is in ale. 

^ Ale was his meat, his drink, his cloth, 
His physic too besides; 
And could he still have drank his ale 
Be sure he had not dy'd." 

The next, which appeared in the ** Gentleman's Magazine " 
of February 2, 1793, rather damns with faint praise: — 

** Alter entertainmenu given on some particular occasions near 
the city of Winchester it is customary to introduce a ' poculum 
caritatis ' filled with a kind of beer called « Ruff.' The origin 

General Songs. 279 

of this name has for years been merely matter of conjecture ; but 
the following verses will explain whence the term is derived" : — 


Written by Edmund Gayton, 1659. Chap, viii., on ^ Ale. 


Drink &nous, infaroousy prais'd and dispnds'd. 
To Stygian lakes, that's muddy harbours rait'd 
From common shores and ^ther Ben's adventures, 
How dar'st thou, boyled cogg, our muzzles enter ? 
But when the keen cheroketh* blows fat bumpkin, 
Who will refuse to drink thee in a rumkin ? t 
Enough is written for thee fro and con.^ 
Yet since hops came thy name is almost gone ; 
But that the alderman hatli cleansM thy tide, 
And makes us with thee yet amongst us bide. 
And Huff of famous memory, that Huff 
Who to his ale had no sign but his RuiF; 
That, and his ale most smooth, did so well work 
The house was full of Christian and of Turk: 
And in demulsing lubrick morning's draught 
A good esute into old Huff was quafL 
What is ale good for ? Look against his doores, 
And you shall see them rotted with ale showers: 
It hath this special commendation, 
To cleanse the water and to break the stone : 
Just as a feather-bed the flint doth break, 
S'ith other stone your North Down ale alike. 
Thy mother barley is an enemy 
To th' nerves, that makes men stagger after thee. 
Drink beyond Huff's demensum, who did stint 
In's regular Ruff his guests into a pint 
(But at one session), yet go forth, and face 
Abount, and then you might take t'other glass. 

* Srnrice wind. f In Norfolk ^ drinking gUv, 

28o In Praise of Ale. 

John Gay's ballad is probably one of the best that were 
written during the last century : — 

Ballad on Ale. 

While some in epic strains delight. 
Whilst others pastorals invite. 

As taste or whim prevail; 
Assist me, all ye tuneful nine, 
Support me in the great design. 

To sing of nappy ale. 

Some folks of cider made a rout. 
And cider's well enough, no doubt, 

When better liquors fail ; 
But wine, that's richer, better still, 
Ev'n wine itself (deny't who will) 

Must yield to nappy ale. 

Rum, brandy, gin, with choicest smack, 
From Holland brought, Batavia rack. 

All these will nought avail 
To cheer a truly British heart. 
And lively spirits to impart. 

Like humming, nappy ale. 

Oh ! whether thee I closely hug 
In honest can or nut-brown jug, 

Or in the tankard hail; 
lo barrel or in botde pent, 
I give the generous spirit vent. 

Still may I feast on ale. 

But chief when to the cheerful glass. 

From vessel pure, thy streamlets pass. 

Then most thy charms prevail ; 

General Songs. 281 

ThcDy then, Pll bet, and take tbe odds. 
That nectary drink of heathen gods. 
Was poor compr'd to ale. 

Give me a bumper, fill it up : 
See how it sparkles in the cup; 

Oh, how shall I regale ! 
Can any taste this drink divine. 
And then compare rum, brandy, wine. 

Or aught with nappy ale ? 

Inspir'd by thee the warrior fights, 
The lover wooes, the poet writes. 

And pens the pleasing tale; 
And still in Britain's isle confesi, 
Nought animates the patriot^s breast 

Like generous, nappy ale. 

High Church and low oft raise a strife. 
And oft endanger limb and life, 

Each studious to prevail ; 
Yet Whig and Tory, opposite 
In all things else, do both unite 

In praise of nappy ale. 

Inspired by thee, shall Crispin sing, 
Or talk of firedom, church, and king. 

And balance Europe's scale ; 
While his rich landlord lays out schemes 
Of wealth in golden South Sea dreams, 

Th* effects of nappy ale. 

O blest potation ! still by thee. 
And thy companion Liberty, 

Do health and mirth prevail; 
Then let us crown the can, the glass, 
And sportive bid the minnets pass 

In quaffing nappy ale. 

282 In Praise of Ale. 

£?'n while these stanzas I indite, 
The bar-bell's grateful sounds invite 

Where joy can never fail. 
Adieu, my muse! adieu, I haste 
To gratify my longing taste 

With copious draughts of ale. 

Gay, in his *< Trivia, or the Art of Walking the Streets of 
London " (edition i8i i), gives incidentally the following piece 
of advice: — 

" Careful observers, studious of the town. 
Shun the misfortunes that disgrace the clown ; 
Untempted, they contemn the juggler's feats. 
Pass by the muse, nor try the cymbal's cheats: 
When drays bound high, they never cross behind, 
Where bubbling yest is blown by gusts of wind." 

The following belongs to the ** Fine Old English Gentleman " 
style of song, and shows the genial influence which nut-brown ale 
exerts over the actions of a man's life : — 

The Dorsetshire Squire ; or, A Mug of Nut-brown 

A wealthy 'squire in Dorsetshire 

Enjoyed the charms of life; 
His time was spent in sweet content, 

He never harboured strife. 
This happy 'squire of DorseUhire 

Lived in a pleasant vale; 
His chief delight, at noon and night, 

A mug of nut-brown ale. 

The wealdiy 'squire of Dorsetshire 

Would Tie'er the poor oppress; 
But aid impart, with cheerful heart, 

To merit in distress. 
No envious tongue, with venom stung, 

'Gainst him did e'er prevail ; 

General Songs. 283 

'Twas pleasure rare with him to share 
A mug of nut-brown ale. 

This is a far kindlier philosophy than that of the egotistical 
humbug who in?ited ** John Brown to come and take a glass in 
his arbour when he'd pass," but inflicted his crude platitudes 
upon John without allowing him to get in a word edgeways. 

Here are a few short extracts from the poets: — 


Beneath the roof, if thy cheered moments pass. 
Fill to the good man's name one grateful glass: 
To higher rest shall memory wake tlie soul, 
And rirtue mingle in the ennobled bowl. 

For many a god o*er elegy presides, 
Its spiriu kindles, and iu numbers guides; 
There Bacchus, Ceres, Erato are seen 
And, with her beautous boy, the Idalian queen : 
And thence the chiefs of elegiac song 
Drain the full bowl and join the jocund throng. 

Then to the spicy nut-brown ale : — 

From " A LiTTLB Wish." 
Grant, ye pow'rs, a little wine 
For a guest that comes to dine. 
And a stock of mild and stale. 
Honest neighbours to regale. 
And October strong and mellow. 
Tubes and weed for hearty fellow ; 
This of Cestman moulds comprest. 
This of Brocas very best. 

Nor wanting is the brown October^ drawn. 
Mature and perfect, from his dark retreat 
Of thirty years : and now his honest front 
Flames in the light refulgent, not afraid 
E'en with the vinejar<ts best produce to t ie« 

284 In Praise (f Ale. 

Poor Robin's Almanack. 

Now trees their leafy hats do bare 
To reverence Winter's silver hair; 
A handsome hostess, merry host, 
A pot of ale now and a toast. 
Tobacco and good coal fire. 
Are things this season doth require. 


Then our age was in its prime, 
Free fh>m rage, and free from crime, 
A very merry, dancing, drinking. 
Laughing, quaffing, and unthinking time. 

So big you look, though claret you retrench. 
That, arm'd with bottled ale, you huff the French. 

The rich, tir'd with continual feasts, 
For change become their next poor tenant's guests. 
Drink hearty draughts of ale from pbin brown bowls. 
And snatch the homely rasher from the coals. 

With gown tuck'd up, to wakes, for Sunday next. 
With humming ale encourages his texL 

For 'twas their duty, all the learned think, 

T' espouse his cause by whom they eat and drink. 

In his sinister hand, instead of ball, 
He plac'd a mighty jug of potent ale. 

WiLUAM King. 

A cauldron of fat Beef and stoop of Ale 
On the huzzaing mob shall more prevail. 
Than if you give them with the nicest art. 
Ragouts of Peacocks' brains, or Filbert tart. 

General Songs. 285 

Poole's Art of Brewing. 

The hints observed, once more shall English ale, 
Nectarious juice ! with ^shion's sons prevail, 
Strong beer its wonted excellences regain, 
Our art improve — nor shall I write in vain. 


O, Girzy ! Girzy ! when thou go'st to brew, 

Consider well what you're about to do ; 

Be very wise, very sedately think. 

That what you're going now to make is drink ; 

Consider who must drink that drink, and then 

What 'tis to have the praise of honest men. 

Whom hath not an inspiring bumper taught 
A flow of words, and loftiness of thought ? 

Horace Translation. 

The fool sucks wisdom, as he porter sups. 
And cobblers grow fine speakers in their cups. 

Beloe quotes the following epigram, which I believe appears in 
the Percy Collection : — 

Ad M Brewer Meoicum. 
This phrase, to drink a health, is only trew 
Of drink which men of your profession brew. 

Bon Gaultier. 

And if you'd do a kindness to your fond desponding child. 
Draw me a pot of Beer, mother, and, mother, draw it mild. 

And brought of mighty ale a large quart 

Sam Butler. 

For he by geometric scale. 
Could tell the size of pots of ale. 

286 /» Praise of Ak. 


Prithee* fill me a glass 

Till it laugh in my face 
Of ale that is potent and mellow ; 

He that pines for a lass 

Is an ignorant ass. 
For a bumper has not its fellow. 


Then Robin he took the Bishop by the hand, 
And led him to merry Bamsdale ; 

He made him stay and sup with him that night, 
And to drink wine, beer, and ale. 

John Whalley. 

See the gay Unicom the wood adorn, 
Fair sign of plenty, with his ivory horn ! 
Here Ceres spread her fruits with lavish hand, 
And Bacchus laughing waited our command. 

Here cheerful plenty met the wearied guest, 
And splendid welcome doubly crown'd our rest. 

Pratt's Harvest Home. 

The life of a sportsman is free from all care, 
Whene'er he makes merry with love and strong beer; 
With his pipe and his friend he laughs hours away. 
And sings, talks, and drinks till he hails a new day, 
And then to the hill and the dale — hark, away ! 


What advantage comes 
To me from all a usurer^s plumbs; 
Though I should see him twice a day, 
And am his neighbour cross the way, 
If all my rhetoric must fail 
To strike him for a pot of ale? 

General Songs, 287 

She (Gluttony) sent her priest in wooden shoes 
From haughty Gaul to make ragoos; 
Instead of wholesome bread and cheese, 
To dress their soups and fricasses; 
And, for our home-bred British cheer, 
Botargo, catsup, and caveer. 


Woman ! What is there in the world like woman ! 
Nfan without woman is a single boot, 
Is half a pair of shears — Her wanton smiles 
Are sweeter than a draught of cool small beer 
To the scorched palate of a waking sot. 

Henry S. Lf.igh's Carols of Cockaigne. 

It's a singular fact that whenever I order 
My goblet of Guiness' or bumper of Bass, 

Out of ten or a dozen that sport round the border. 
Some fly turns a somersault into my glass. 

Oh ! it's not that I grudge him the liquor he's tasted, 
Supposing him partial to ale or to stout. 

But consider the time irretreivably wasted 
In trying to fish the small wanderer out. 

Ah, believe me, proud fly ! 'tis excessively sinful. 
This habit which knocks even blue-bottles up. 

Just remember what Cassio, on getting a skinfiil. 
Observed about every inordinate cup. 

Reflect on that proverb, diminutive being. 
Which tell us <* Enough's as good as a feast," 

And, mark me, there's nothing more painful as seeing 
An insect behaving so much like a beast. 

288 In Praise of Ale, 

Oh ! WHEN MY Farm is taken. 

Oh ! when my farm is taken, 
How delightful 'twill be o*er my acres to stump! 
Then I'll marry a dairy-maid, jolly and plump. 
But she shan't be as fat as my bacon. 

I'll hire a lout to wield the flail, 
Small beer shall serve the bumpkin! 

While I with guzzling home-brew'd ale 
Grow rounder than a pumpkin. 

Reverting back somewhat we have the following well-known 
favourite, which appeared in the London Chanticleer for 1659 : — 

Submit, Bunch of Grapes. 

Submit, bunch of grapes, 

To the strong barley ear; 
The weak wine no longer 

The laurel shall wear. 

Sack, and all drinks else. 

Desist from the strife; 
Ale 's the only aqua vita. 

And liquor of life. 

Then come, my boon fellows. 

Let's drink it around ; 
It keeps us from grave. 

Though it lays us on ground. 

Ale 's a physician, 

No mountebank bragger; 
Can cure the chill ague. 

Though it be with the stagger. 

Ale 's a strong wrestler, 

Kings all it hath met; 
And makes the ground slippery, 

Though it be not wet. 

General Songs. 289 

Ale is both Ceres, 

And good Neptune too. 
Ale's froth was the sea 

From which Venus grew. 

Ale is immortal; 

And be there no stops, 
In bonny lads quaffing, 

Can liye without hops. 

Then come, my boon fellows. 

Let's drink it around; 
It keeps us from grave, 

Though it lays us on ground. 

The foregoing collection of songs, ballads, and poems, shows a 
pretty hir consensus of opinion as to the virtues of ale and beer 
among the great and gifted of many generations. By way of relief 
I will quote from an old pamphlet, intituled, ** Wine, Beer, Ale, 
and Tobacco contending for Superiority. A Dialogue. HO RAT 
Siccis omnia dura Dms Praposuit. London. Printed by J. B. for 
John Grove, and are to be sold at his shop betwixt S. Katherine's 
Stairs and the Mill, next door to the sign of the Ship, 1658." 

The play or mystery is a sort of compound of miracle-play, 
masque, and mumming, which so delighted our ancestors. The 
song it winds up with is far better known than the dialogue itself. 
Certainly there is plenty of action, bustle, and impending fight 
between the various dramatis person£^ until IVater comes in and 
happily ends all disputes. 

The Stationer to the Readers. 

Gentlemen, — for in your drink you will be no lest, Kpresent 
you with this small collation. If either Wine and Sugar, fieer 
and Nutmeg, a Cup of Ale and a Tost, Tobacco, or altogether, 
may meet your acceptation, I am glad I had it for you. There 


290 In Praise of Ale. 

is a difference between themseWes; but your |>alate muy reconcile 
all. If anything diitaste you, there is water to wash your hands 
of the whole Pamphlet. So hoping you will accept a Pledge of 
my service, and have a care of your own health, I beg me to 
you. — J. G. 

The Speaker I, 

/fine, A Gentleman. 

Sugar, His Page. 

Betr, A Citizen. 

Nmimeg. His Prentice. 

^U, A Countryman. 

/#!/. One of his nirall Servants. 

H^aier. A Parson. 

Tobacco, A swaggering Gentleman. 

WiMEy Beer, Ale, and Tobacco contending for Supehiority. 

Enter Beer^ IVine^ and Sugar, 

IVine. How, Beer? We are not very good friends; no matter, 
I scorn to avoid him. 

Beer. Beer-leave, sir. \^ Jostles IVine, 

IV'ine, How now, Beer, running a-tilt, dost thou not know mc? 

Beer. I do mean to have tlie wall on you. 

Wme. The wall of me, you would have your head and the 
wall knock'd together. Learn better manners, or I may chance to 
broach you. 

Beer, Broach me, alas poor Wine, 'tis not your Fieri Facias 
can make Beer afraid, thy betters know the strength of Beer. I 
do not fear 3rour colour, sir. 

Sugar, So here will be some scuffling. 

IVine. You'll leave your impudence, and learn to know your 
superioura, fioer, or I may chance to have you stopped up. 
What, never leave working? I am none of your fellows. 

Beer, I scorn thou should^st. 

General Songs. 291 

fVine. I am a companion for Princes^ the least drop of my 
blood is worth all thy body. I am aent for by the Citizens, 
visited by the Gallants, kiss'd by the Gentlewomen. I am their 
life, their genius, the Poetical! fury, the Helicon of the Muses, 
of better value than Iker; I should be sorry else. 

Beer. Thou art sorry. Wine, indeed, sometimes; value? You 
are come up of late, men pay dear for your company, and repent 
it: that gives you not the precedency; though Beer set not so 
great a price upon himself, he means not to bate a grain of his 
worth, nor subscribe to Wine for all his braveries. 

fVine, Not to mee ? 

Beer, Not to you: why, whence come you, pray? 

IVtne, From France, from Spain, from Greece. 

Beer. Thou art a mad Greek indeed. 

IVinr. Where thou must never hope to come : who dares deny 
that I have been a traveller? 

Beer. A traveller? in a tumbrel, a little Beer will go further; 
why. Wine, art thou not] kept under lock and key, confin'd to 
some comer of a cellar, and there indeed commonly close 
prisoner, unless the Jaylor or Yeoman of the bottles turn the key 
for the chambermaid now and then, for which she vows not to 
leave him, till the last gaspe, where Beer goes abroad, and 
randesvous in every place ? 

Enter Ale, 

Who's this? Ale! oh for the three men's song! this Ale is a 
stout fellow, it shall go hard, but Sugar which makes all sweet 
sometimes shall set him in his part of the discord ! 

IVtne. Come, come. Beer, you forget how long you were 
t'other day ; provoke me not too much, lest I bestow a firkin on 

Beer, Strike if thou dar'st, Wine, I shall make thee answer as 
quick as the objection, and give jrou a dash. 

AU. Umph; what's this? it seems there's great difference 
between Wine and Beer. Sugar, what's the matter ? 

Sugar. Oh good man, Ale, I'm glad you're come, here's 

T 2 

292 In Praise of Ale. 

nothing but contention : I have gone betwixt them once 01 twice, 
but I fear one or both will be spilt 

jlk. What do they contend about ? 

Sugar. For that, which aught I can apprehend, belongs as 
much to you as either of them. 

Jle, Hah ! to me ! what's that? 

Sugar, Ale by judicious men hath been held no despicable 
drink> for my own part it is nothing to me: you are all one to 
Sugar, whosoever be King, Sugar can be a subject, but yet 'twere 
fit Ale had his measure. 

jlle. Are they so proud ? 

Sugar, They mind not you as if you were too unworthy a 
Competitor. See 'tis come to a challenge. 

\JVtne throws down the glove, which Beer takes up. 

Ale. Leave your railing, and attend to my reasons, 1 claim 
your duties to me, for many prerogatives: my antiquity, my 
riches, my learning, my strength, my gravity. 

Wine, Antiquity ! your first reason's a very small one. 

Ale, Dare any of you deny my antiquity \ I say. 

Wine, We must bear with him, 'tis in his Ale. 

Ale, It only pleads for me : who hath not heard of the old 
Ale of England ? 

Beer, Old Ale; oh, there 'tis grown to a proverb, Jones* 
Ale 's new. 

Ale, These are trifles, and convince me not. 

Wine, If we should grant your argument, you would gain little 
by't, go together, I do allow you both a couple of stale companions. 

Beer, Wine, you're very harsh. 

Ale, Let him; my second prerogative is my riches and 
possessions, for who knows not how many houses I have. Wine 
and Beer are fiiin to take up a comer, your ambition goes no 
further than a cellar, where the whole house where I am is mine, 
goes only by my name, is call'd an Ale-house \ but when is either 
heard, the Wine-house or the Beer-house \ You cannot passe a 
street, wherein I have not houses of my own, beside many that go 
by other men's names. 

General Songs. 293 

Beer. I confesse you have here and there an alehouse, but 
whose are all the rest ? Hath not Beer as much title to them ? 

IVtne, And yet I have not heard that either of you both 
have fin'd for Aldermen, though I confess that something has bin 
attempted out of Nicker Froth. Be rul'd by nie, Beer and Ale, 
and aspire no higher then the common-Councel-houses. Oh 
impudence, that either of you should talk of houses, when some- 
times you are both glad of a tub : dee hear, Ale ? do not yoa 
know the man that did the bottle bring ? 

Ale. Thou art glad of a bottle thyself, Wine, sometimes; 
and so is Beer too, for all he frothes now. 

Beer, So, so. 

Ale. My third prerogative is my learning. 

IVme. Learning ? If you have the Liberal Sciences, pray be 
free and let's hear some. 

Ale. For that, though I could give you demonstration, for 
brevitie's sake, I remit you to my books. 

Beer, Books! Printed Cum Privlleglo no doubt on't, and 
sold by the Company of Stationers ! What are the names ? 

Ale. Admire me though when I name learned, though not 
the great, Alexander Ale and Tostatus the Jesuite. 

IVine. Oh, learned Ale, you scorn to make Indentures any 
more, but you might as well have concluded this without book. 

Beer, Why, you will shortly be Town-Clerk, the City 
Chronicler is too mean a place for you. 

Ale. Now for my strength and invincibilitie. 

Beer. But here let me interrupt you, talk no more of strength, 
none but Beer deserves to bee calPd strong ; no pen is able to set 
down my victories. 

[This tall talk goes on for about twelve pages, when matters 
become serious, j 

AU. Is Wine drawn ? Then have at you ; I'll make good 

Beer, I stand for the honour of Beer, were you an army. 

[-/// they nffinr tojight^ Waier comes running in, 

IVater, Hold, hold, hold. I know your ambition, you are all 

294 J^ Praise of Ale, 

my kinsmen, and the care of thy preservation made me break my 
banks to come to you. WiJ] you refer yourselves to me and 
wade no further in these discontentments ? I will undertake 
your reconcilement and qualifications. 

All. Agreed. 

Waier. Then, without further circumlocution or inanuation. 
Water runs to the matter : You shall no more contend for excel- 
lencies for Water shall allow each of you a Singularitie. First, 
you, Wine, shall be most in request amongst Courtiers, Gallants, 
Gentlemen, Poetical Wits, Qyii mehons lutid homines^ being fare- 
fined mould, shall chuse as a more nimble and active watering to 
make their brains fruitful. Fecvndi Calces quern non ? but so as 
not confin'd to them, not limiting them to you more then to ex- 
hilarate their spirits and acuate their inventions. 

You, Beer, shall be in most grace with the Citizens, as being a 
more staied liquor fit for tliem that purpose retirement and gravitie, 
that, with the snail, carries the care of a house and family with 
them, tied to the attendance of an illiberal profession, that neither 
trot nor amble, but have a sure pace of their own. Bos lassus 
fortius fg'it pedem. The black ox hath trod upon their foot. 
Yet, I bound you not with the citie, though it be the common 
entertainment, you may be in credit with gentlemen's cellars and 
carry reputation before you from March to Christmas-tide, I 
should say, that Water should forget his tide. 

You, Ale, I remit to the country as being more fit to live 
where you were bred. Your credit shall not be inferior, for 
people of all sorts shall desire your acquaintance, specially in the 
morning, though you may be allowed the day after. The parson 
shall account you one of his best parishioners, and the Church- 
wardens shall pay for your company, and, drawing their bills all 
the year long, you shall be loved and maintained at the parish 
charge 'till you be old, be allowed a Robin Hood for Mother Red 
Cap to hang at your door to beckon in customers ; and if you 
come into the citie, you may be drunk with pleasure, but never 
come into the fiishion. At all times you shall have respect, but 
in the winter morning without comparison. How do you like 
my censure now ! 

General Songs. 295 

M, Water has deep judgment. 

IVater, And yet the world saies sometimes Water is shallow. 
Nay, ril see you shake hands and tie a new knot of friendship. 

jile. We are henceforth brothers. Stay ! [Musick, 

Hark, Musick ! Oh, some friends of Wine, I know 'em ; 
they often come upon the Water : let's entertain the Ayr a little, 
never a voice among you ? 

The Song. 

IVlne, I, jovial Wine, exhilarate the heart, 
Beer. March Beer is drink for a king ; 

jlle. But Ale, bonny Ale, with spice and a toast 

In the morning's a dainty thing. 

Chorut — Then let us be merry, wash sorrow away, 

Wine, Beer, and Ale shall be dnink to-day. 

JVine, I, generous Wine, am for the court — 
Berr, The citic calls for Beer ; 

/lie. But Ale, bonny Ale, like a lord of the soyl. 

In the country shall domineer. 

Chorus — Then let us be merry, wash sorrow away. 

Wine, Boer, and Ale shall be drunk to-day. 

IVater. Why, now could I dance for joy. 

jlle. Now you talk of dancing, Wine, 'tis one of your 
qualities ; let's pay the musicians all together. We have often 
made other men have light heads and heels, there's no hurt a little 
in tripping. 

[The eternal friendship and harmony thus commenced, continues 
until Tobacco enters and claims superiority of all, and a wordy 
war ensues, in the course of which the old military drill of 
loading a pipe is gone through.] 

296 In Praise of Ale. 

jtU. I remember I have heard him reported a souldier ; and 
once being in company with a knap-jack man, a companion of his, 
I obtained a copic of his military postures, which put down the 
pike and pot-gun clean. Pray observe 'em : — 

1. Take out your seal. 

2. Draw your box. 

3. Uncase your pipe. 

4. Produce your rammer. 

5. Blow your pipe. 

6. Open 3rour box. 

7. Fill your pipe. 

8. Ramme your pipe. 

9. Withdraw your rammer, 
la Return your rammer. 

1 1 . Make ready. 

12. Present 

1 3. Elbow your pipe. 

1 4. Mouth your pipe. 

1 5. Give fire. 

1 6. Nose your tobacco. 

1 7. Puflfe up your smoke. 

1 8. Spit on your right hand. 

1 9. Throw off your loose ashes. 

20. Present to your friend. 

21. As you were. 

22. Cleanse your pipe. 

23. Blow your pipe. 

24. Supply your pipe. 

TtAacco, These are but childish amusements. 

IVtne, This ruffler may be troublesome, we were best admit 
him to our society, he is a dry companion, and you may observe 
how he hath insinuated already with the greatest. The ladies 
begin to affect him, and he receives private/avours from their lips, 
every day he kisseth their hands, when he appears in a fair pipe ; 
though we allow him not a prioritie, for our own sakes, let us hold 

General Songs. 297 

correspoDdence with him, lest he seduce men to forsake us, or at 
least to make use of us but for necessity. 

jl/e. Hum 1 he saies well, now I better consider 'twere safest 
to use him kindly, least by degrees he overthrow us and jet upon 
our privileges ; for I heard a gentleman t'other day afBrm, he had 
fasted three or four daies onely with Tobacco. 

IVmt, Beside, if we continue friends, he will be a preparative 
for our reception ; without us he may subsist, but with him we 
are sure of a liberal entertainment. 

Beer. I am converted ; Wine, you are the best orator, speak 
for us. 

IVinr. Tobacco, you are a good fellow, all ambition laid 
aside, let us embrace as friends ; excuse us that we have been a 
little merry with you, we acknowledge you a gentele drink, 
and you shall have all the respect will become Wine, Beer, or 
Ale, to observe you with : what should we contend for premacie, 
quarrel about titles, which, if to any, we acknowledge most 
properly belongs to you, for they are all but smoke. Let us 
unite the confederate states, for the benefits of men's low 
countries, live and love together. Wine doth here enter into 
league with Tobacco. 

Beer, And Beer. 

y1/e. And Ale. 

Tdbacco, Are you in earnest ? Why, then, Tobacco is so far 
from pride that he vows to serve you all ; and when I leave to be 
a true friend may fire consume me and my ashes want a burial. 

W,^ i?., A. And when we falsi6e may thunders strike us 
dead. \T^ dance* 

In which. Wine falling down, one taketh Sugar by the heels 

and seems to shake him upon Wine. 
In the second passage Beer falleth, and two take Nutmeg, and, 

as it were, grate him over Beer. 
In the third. Ale falleth, one bringeth in a chafendish of coals, 

and another causes Tost to put his touch to it, afterwards 

it is clap't to Ale's mouth, and the dance concludeth. 


298 /;; Praise of Ale. 

As a specimen of by-gone humour the foregoing is noteworthy 
as a literary curiosity. There is a marked similarity in many 
passages between this dialogue and the one between Claret and 
Darbie Ale. It would appear that the bond of fiiendly alliance 
between these erstwhile belligerent rivals has been well maintained 
e?er since. 

The Happy Fellow. 
From the Britub Orpheus, 

With my jug in one hand, and my pipe in the other, 

I drink to my neighbour and friend ; 
My cares in a whifF of tobacco I smother. 

For life, I know, shortly must end. 
While Ceres, most kindly, refills my brown jug. 

With good ale, I will miake myself mellow ; 
In my old wicker chair, I will seat myself snug, 

I jke n jolly and true happy fellow. 

Like a jolly, like a jolly, like a jolly and true 
happy fellow. 

ril ne'er trouble my head with the cares of the nation, 

My own being all I need mind, 
For the cares of this life are but grief and vexation, 

To death we must all be consigned. 
Then I'll laugh, drink, and smoke, and leave nothing to pay. 

But drop, like a pear that is mellow. 
And, when cold in my coffin, Til leave them to say, 

" He's gone ! What a hearty good fellow ! " 

A pipe is usually the complement of a pot, and tempts one to 
be discursive, so I will conclude this long chapter. The first I 
quote first appeared, as &r as I can trace, in Dodsley's collection, 
but I am quoting from a work dated 1 789, which was specially 
compiled to elevate the poetical taste of the young ladies of the 
period,* and to **make them acquainted with the force and beauty 

General Songs. 299 

of their language." Ccrtes there is plenty of force in the 
passages we have excised: — 

Boy ! bring an ounce of Freeman's best. 

And bid the vicar be my guest: 

Let all be plac'd in manner due, 

A pot wherein to spit or spue, 

And " London Journal " and •* Free Briton," 

Of use to light a pipe. 

a • • . • 

Come, jovial pipe, and bring along 
Midnight revelry and song; 
The merry catch, the nnadrigal, 
That echoes sweet in City Hall ; 
The parson's pun, the smutty tnic 
Of country justice o'er his ale. 
I ask not what the French are doing, 
Or Spain to compass Britain's ruin: 
Britons, if undone, can go 
Where tobacco loves to grow. 

British sons no longer now 
Hurl the bar or twang the bow, 
Nor of crimson combat think. 
But securely smoke and drink. 

O thou, matur'd by glad Hesperian suns, 
Tobacco, fountain pure of limpid truth 
That looks the very soul; whence pouring thought 
Swarms all the mind ; absorpt is yellow care, 
And at each puff imagination bums: 
Flash on thy bard, and with exulting fires 
Touch the mysterious lips that chaunt thy praise 
In strains to nwrtal sons of earth unknown. 
Behold an engine wrought from tawny mines 
Of ductile clay, with plastic virtue formed. 

300 In Praise of Ale. 

And glaz'd magnific o'er, I grasp, I fill 
From Pactotheke with pungent powers perfum'd. 
Itaelf one tortoise all, where shines imbib'd 
Each parent ray; then rudely ramm'd illumine, 
With the red touch of zeal enkindling sheet, 
Mark'd with Gibsonian love ; forth issue clouds, 
Thought-thrilling, thirst-inciting clouds around. 
And many mining fires; I all the while. 
Lolling at ease, inhale the breezy balm. 
But chief, when Bacchus went with thee to join, 
In genial strife and orthodoxal ale. 
Stream life and joy into the muse's bowl. 
Oh, be thou still my great inspirer, thou 
My muse; oh, fan me with thy zephyr's boon, 
While I, in clouded tabernacle shrin'd, 
Burst forth all oracle and mystic song. 

The pot is never perfect without its companion the pipe, so 
here goes for 

A Pot and a Pip£ of Tobacco. 

Some praise taking snuff. 

And 'tis pleasant enough 
To those who have got the right knack, O ! 

But give me, my boys, 

Those exquisite joys, 
A pot and a pipe of tobacco. 

When fume follows fume 

To the top of the room. 
In circles pursuing their track, O ! 

How sweet to inhale 

The health-giving gale 
Of a pipe of Virginian tobacco. 

General Songs. 30 1 

Let soldiers so bold, 

For fame or for gold, 
Their eoemies cut, slash, and hack, O ! 

We have fire and smoke, 

Though all but in joke. 
In a peaceable pipe of tobacco. 

Should a mi8tr>iS8 unkind 

Be inconstant in mind, 
And on your affections look black, O ! 

Let her wherrit and tiff, 

'Twill blow off in a whiff, 
If you take but a pipe of tobacca 

The miserly elf, 

Who, in hoarding his pelf, 
Keeps body and soul on the rack, O ! 

Would he bless and be blest, 

He might open his chest. 
By taking a pii)e of tobacco. 

Politicians so wise, 

All ears and all eyes, 
For news 'till their addled pates crack, O ! 

After puzzling their brains. 

Will not get for their pains 
The worth of a pipe of tobacco. 

If your land in the claw 

Of the limb of the law 
You trust, or your health to the quack, O ! 

'Tis fifty to one 

They're both as soon done 
As you'd puff out a pipe of tobacco. 

302 In Praise of Ale. 

Life'a short 'tis agreed — 

So we'll try from the weed 
Of man a brief cmbleni to tack, O ! 

When his ^irit ascends 

Die he must — and he ends 
In dust, like a pipe of tobacco ! 

Before taking leave of tobacco, I cannot refrain from quoting 
tlie exquisite allegory, written by the Rev. Ralph Erskine. The 
first part is an adaptation of an old meditation upon smoking, and 
the second an addition or improvement thereon. 

Part I. 


This Indian weed, now wither'd quite, 
Though green at noon, cut down at night. 

Shows thy decay ; 

All flesh is hay. 
Thus think, and smoke tobacco. 

The pipe so lily-like and weak, 
Does thus thy mortal state bespeak, 

Thou art e'en such, 

Gone with a touch. 
Thus think, and smoke tobacco. 

And when the smoke ascends on high. 
Then thou behold'st the vanity 

Of worldly stuff. 

Gone with a puff. 
Thus think, and smoke tobacco. 

And when the pipe grows foul within, 
Think on thy soul defiled with sin ; 

For then the fire 

It does require. 
Thus think, and snK)ke tobacco. 

General Songs. 303 

And seetft the aBhes cast away ; 
Then to thy iielf thou niayest miy: 

That to the dust 

Return thou must. 
Thus think, and smoke tobacco. 

Part II. 

Was tills small plant for thee cut down f 
So was the plant of great renown. 

Which mercy send* 

For nobler ends. 
Thus think, and smoke tobacco. 

Doth juice medicinal proceed 
From such a naughty foreign weed ? 

Then wliat's the power 

Of Jesse's flower ? 
I'huB think, and smoke tobacco. 

The promise, like the pipe, inlays 
And by the mouth of faith conveys 

What virtue flows 

From Sharon's rose. 
Thus think, and smoke tobacco. 

In vain th' unlighted pipe you blow; 
Your pains in outward means are so, 

'Till heavenly fire 

The heart inspire. 
Thus think, and snx>ke tobacco. 

The smoke, like burning incense, towers, 
So should a praying heart of yours. 

With ardent cries, 

Surnx>unt the skies. 
Thus think, and smoke tobacco 




" Sir John Barleycorn was the strongest inightj 

" John BarUycom^s a wholesome blade^ 
IVhom people tipple gaily; 
And Vulcan* s sons and every trade^ 
Their homage pay him daily,** 

I CANNOT do better than commence this chapter under the influence 
of a modem glee, which goes to an inspiriting tune. The song is 
so well-known that most readers will job in the air and chorus. 
I am indebted to the courtesy of Messrs Novello, Ewer & Co. 
for permission to reprint. The music is by E. Stirling, and the 
words are initialled A, T. : — 

" Come out, 'tis now September, 
The hunter's moon begun, 
And through the wheaten stubble. 

Is heard the frequent gun. 
The leaves are paling yellow, 

Or kindling into red. 
And the ripe and golden Barley, 
Is hanging down its head. 
All among the barley, 

Who would not be blithe. 
When the*free and happy barley. 
Is smiling on the scythe. 

Barley and Malt. 305 

The Spring, she is a young maid. 

That does not know her mind. 
The Summer is a tyrant 

Of most unrighteous kind. 
The Autumn is an old friend. 

That loves one all he can. 
And that brings the happy Barley 

To glad the heart of man. 
All among, &c. 

The Wheat is like a rich man. 

That's sleek and well to do, 
The Oats are like a pack of girls. 

Laughing and dancing too. 
The Rye is like a miser, 

That's sulky, lean, and small. 
But the free and bearded Barley 

Is the monarch of them all. 
All among, &c. 

There is certainly something enlivening and cheerful in the 
rustle of the ripened barley that other fields of golden grain 
do not impart to the same extent, harvest bugs notwithstanding, 
for those pests certainly do infest the bearded barley more than 
any other grain ; but this is an incident only. Thomson puts 
this sentiment neatly: — 

" The rural youth and virgins o'er the field. 
Each fond for each to cull the Autumnal prime. 
Exulting rove, and speak the vintage nigh. 
Then comes the crushing swain; the country floats. 
And foams unbounded with the washy flood; 
That by degrees fermented, and refined, 
Round the raised nations pours the cup of joy." 

Our Saxon ancestors, says Verstegan, called September ^ Gent'* 
Monai, for that barley which that moneth commonly yeelded was 
antiently called gersty the name of barley being given unto it by 


3o6 In Praise oj Ale. 

reason of the drinke therewith made, called beere, and from 
hterlegh it came to be herkghy and from herleg to barley. So in 
like manner htereheym^ xo wit, the overdecking or covering of 
heere^ came to be called herham^ and afterwards barme^ having 
since gotten I wot not how many names besides. . . . This 
excellent and healthsome liqour, beere, antiently also called ael^ 
as of the Danes it yet is (beere and ale being in effect all one), 
was first of the Germans invented, and brought in use." 

Of the medicinal virtues of barley, let us take Old Culpepper, 
herbalist and astrologer. 

*< The continual usefulness of barley hath made all in general 
so acquainted herewith, that it is altogether needless to describe 
its several kinds hereof plentifully growing, being yearly sown in 
this land. The virtues whereof take as followeth: — 

" Government ami Ftrtuei. — It is a notable plant of Saturn ; if 

you view diligently its effect by sympathy and antipathy, you may 

easily perceive a reason of them, as also why barley bread is so 

unwholesome to melancholy people. Barley, in all the parts and 

compositions thereof (except malt), is more cooling than wheat, 

and a little cleansing. And all the preparations thereof, as barley 

water and other things made thereof, do give great nourishment 

r* ^ c- I *o persons troubled with fevers. 

Fevers^ JlFuei^ Stomachy '^ , , . , , 

r . .1 r jf agues, and heats m the stomach. 

Impost bumei, Inflama" ? i • i n i • 

^. d A poultice made of barley meal. 
tum^ Spleen. *1 . •• j . . J 

or Dour, boued m vmegar and 

honey, and a few dry figs put into them, dtssolvcth all hard 

imposthumes, and assuageth inflammations, being thereto applied. 

And being boiled with melilot and camomile flowers and some 

linseed, fenugreek and rue in powder, and applied warm, it easeth 

pains in side and stomach, and windiness of the spleen. The 

meal of barley and fleawort boiled in water, and made a poultice 

r« 'Ti M XT L ^ith honey and oil of lilies 

Eari^ Throaty Neck^ r j . n- 

Km^, Evil, Lepro^, W''"! warn,, cureth swellings 
Flu^, Goui, luh, E,e.. •"'*!",^«= ears, throat, neck, and 

such like ; and a plaister made 

thereof with tar, wax, and oil, helpeth the king's evil in the throat ; 
boiled with sharp vinegar into a poultice, and laid on hot, helpeth 

Barley and Malt. 307 

the leprosy ; being boiled in red wine with pomegranate rinds, and 
myrtles, stayeth the lask or other flux of the belly ; boiled with 
vinegar and quince it easeth the pains of the gout ; barley flower, 
white salt, honey, and vinegar, mingled together, taketh away the 
itch speedily and certainly. The water distilled from the green 
barley in the end of May is very good for those that have 
defluctions of humours fallen into their eyes, and easeth the pain, 
being dropped into them; or white bread steeped therein, and 
bound on to the eyes, doth the same." 

From Culpepper's Pharmacopoeia to Punch's Modem Cookery 
Book is a leap or bound, but these two great authorities unite in 
praising the virtues of the simple grain : — 

Air— O/i the Banks of Allan Water. 

For a jug of Barley Water 

Take a sauce pan not too small ; 
Give it to your wife or daughter. 

If within your call. 
If her duty you have taught her. 

Very willing each will be 
To prepare some Barley Water 

Cheerfiilly for thee. 

For a jug of Barley Water, 

Half a gallon, less or more. 
From the filter that you bought her. 

Ask your wife to pour. 
When a saucepan you have brought her, 

Polish'd bright, as bright can be. 
In it empty all the water — 

Either you or she. 

For your jug of Barley Water 
('Tis a drink by no means bad). 

Some two ounces and a quarter 
Of pearl barley add. 

u 2 

3o8 In Praise of Ale. 

When 'tis boiling, let your daughter 
Skim from blacks to keep it free ; 

Added to your Barley Water 
Lemon-rind should be. 

For your jug of Barley Water 

(I have made it very oft'), 
It must boil, so tell your daughter. 

Till the barley's soft. 
Juice of a small lemon's quarter 

Add, then sweeten all like tea. 
Strain through sieve your Barley Water, 

'Twill delicious be. 

The next is a variation of the same theme: — 

Barley Broth. 
Air — The Klng^ Goil blett htm, 

A basin of Barley broth, make, make for mc ; 

Give those who prefer it the plain : 
No matter the broth, so of barley it be. 

If we ne'er taste a basin again. 
For, oh ! when three pounds of good mutton you boy, 

And of most of its hi dispossess it ; 
In a stewpan uncovered, at first, let it lie, 

Then in water proceed to dress it. 
Hurrah ! Hurrah ! Hurrah ! 
In a stewpan uncover'd, at first, let it lie. 

Then in water proceed to dress it 

What a tea-cup will hold — you should first have been told- 

Of barley you gently should boil ; 
The pearl-barley choose — 'tis the nicest that's sold — 

All others the mixture might spoil. 

Barley and Malt, 309 

or carrots and turnips, small onions, green peas, 
(If the price of the last don't distress one), 

Mix plenty ; and boil altogether with these 
Your basin of broth when you dress one. 
Hurrah ! Hurrah ! Hurrah ! 

Two hours together the articles boil. 

There's your basin of broth, if you'd dress one. 

The above aongs cannot be objected to by the most rigid 
abstainer; they combine the utile et dulce^ the poetical and practical. 
To a certain extent the following does also: — 

Bannocks o' Barley Meau 

Argylc is my name, and you may think it strange. 
To live at a court and never to change; 
All falsehood and flattery I do disdain. 
In my secret thoughts no guile does remain. 
My king and my country's foes I have fac'd, 
In city or battle I ne'er was disgrac'd ; 
I've done what I could for my country's weel, 
Now I'll feast upon bannocks o' barley meal. 

Adieu to the courts of gay London town, 
For to my ain country I will gang down ; 
At the sight o' Kirkcaldy once again, 
I'll cock up my bonnet and march amain. 
O the muckle deil tak' a' your noise and strife, 
I'm fully resolv'd for a country life, 
Where a* the braw lassies that kens me weel. 
Will feed me wi' bannocks o' barley meal. 

I'll buy a fine present to bring to my dear, 
A pair o' fine garters for Maggie to wear, 
And some pretty things else, I vow and declare, 
When she gangs wi' me to fam'd Paisley fair. 

3IO In Praise of Ale. 

And when we are married we'll keep a braw cow, 
My Maggie sail milk her, and I will plow ; 
We'll live a' the winter on beef and lang kail, 
And wang at the bannocks o' barley meal. 

If my Maggie should chance to bring me a son, 
He's to fight for his king as his father has done ; 
I'll send him to Flanders some breeding to learn ; 
I'll aflPinto Scodand, and there keep a farm; 
And thus we'll live, and industrious be, 
And wha'll be so great as my Maggie and me ? 
We'll soon grow as fat as a Norway seal, 
Wi' feeding on bannocks o' barley meal. 

Probably the following is one of the oldest ballads on barley, 
for though it treats more especially on beer, it claims from its title 
to be a barley ballad. It is taken from th« Roxburghe collection : — 

The Little Barley-Corne. 

Whose properties and virtues here^ 
Shall plainly to the world appeare 
To make you merry all the yeere, 

(To the tune of « Stingo.") 

Come and do not musing stand, 

If thou the truth disceme, 
But take a full cup in thy hand, 

And thus begin to leamey 
Not of the earth nor of the ayre, 

At evening or at mome, 
But joviaH boyes your Christmas keep. 

With the Rttle Barley-Corne. 

It is the cunningist alchymist, 

That ere was in the Land, 
'Twill change your metde when it list. 

In turning of a hand. 

Barley and Malt. 3 1 1 

Your bluahbg Gold to Silver wan, 

Your Silver into brasse, 
n^will tume a Taylor to a man, 

And a man into an aisc. 

'Twill make a poore man with to bang 

A signe before his doore. 
And those that doe the pitcher bang. 

Though rich 'twill make them poore ; 
'Twill make the silliest poorest sneake, 

The king's great porter scome, 
'Twill make the stoutest Lubber weak, 

7'hu tittle Barley^Come, 

It hath more shifts than Lambt ere had 

Or Hotnt Poem too, 
It will good fellowes show more sport 

Than Bankes his horse could doe ; 
nTwil] play you faire above the boord, 

Unless you take good heed, 
And fell you though you were a Lord, 

Andjust'ifie the deed. 

It lends more yeeres unto old age. 

Than ere was lent by nature. 
It makes the Poet's fancy rage. 

More than Castil and water ; 
'Twill make a huntsman chase a Fox, 

And never winde his home, 
'Twill cheere a Tinker in the stockes, 

This little Barley^Come, 

It is the only Will o' th' Wisp, 
Which leads men from the way, 

'Twill make the tongue-ti'd Lawyer lisp 
And nought but (hic-cup) say; 

312 Jn Praise of Ale. 

'Twill make the Steward droope and stoop 
Hu bils he then will scorne. 

And at each post cast his reckining up, 
TTm Bttle BarUy^Come, 

Twin make a man grow jealous soone, 

Whose pretty wife goes trim, 
And nule at the deceiving rooone. 

For making homes at him; 
Twill make the maidens trimly dance, 

And take it in no scome. 
And help them to a friend by chance, 

7Xw Uttle Bar ley 'Come, 

It is the neatest serving man, 

To entertain a friend, 
It will doe more than money can 

All jarring suits to end ; 
There's life in it, and it is here, 

Tis here within this cup. 
Then take your liquor, doe not spare, 

But clear e carouse it up! 

The second part of the little Barley^Corney 
That cheereth the heart both evening and morne. 

(To the same tune.) 

If sicknesse come, this physick take. 

It from your heart will set it. 
If feare incroach, take more of it, 

Your heart will soon forget it ; 
Apollo and the muses nine. 

Do take it in no scome, 
There's no such stufTe to passe the time, 

jIs the little Barley^Come, 

Barley and Malt, 3 1 3 

Twill make a weeping widow laugh, 

And aoone incline to pleasure; 
'Twill make an old man leave his staffe. 

And dance a youthfiill measure; 
And though your clothes be neere so bad, 

All raggedy rent, and tome. 
Against the cold you may be dad. 

With the nuU Barky^Come. 

'Twill make a coward not to shrink. 

But be as stout as may be; 
'Twill make a man that he shall thinke, 

That Jone's as good as my Lady ; 
It will inrich the palest face. 

And with Rubies it adome. 
Yet you shall thinke it no disgrace, 

This ftUle Barley-Come, 

HTwill make your gossips merry. 

When they their liquor see, 
Hey we shall nere be weary, 

Sweet Gossip here's to thee ! 
'Twill make the country yeonoan 

The courtier for to scome; 
And talk of Law-suits o'er a can, 

IVttb this ttttle Barley-Come. 

It makes a man that write cannot. 

To make you large Indentures, 
When as he recleth home at night. 

Upon the Watch he ventures; 
He cares not for the candlelight. 

That shineth in the home, 
Yet he will stumble the way aright, 

This little Barky-Come, 

314 Jn Praise of Ale. 

Twill make a miser prodigall. 

And show himselfe kind-hearted, 
'Twill make him never griere at all, 

That from his co3rne hath parted; 
'Twill make the Shepherd to mistake 

His sheep before a storme; 
Twill make the Poet to excell, 

Tbu Biik Barlej^Conu, 

It will make young bds to call 

Most freely for their liquor. 
Twill make a young Lasse take a fall, 

And rise againe the quicker ; 
Twill make a man that he 

Shall sleepe all night profoundly, 
And make a man what ere he be, 

Goe about hit huiinesi roundly. 

Thus the Barley-Come hath power. 

Even for to change our nature, 
And make a Shrew within an houre. 

Prove a kind-hearted creature ; 
And therefore here I say againe. 

Let no man tak't in scome. 
That I the vertues doe proclaime, 

Of the Rule Barhj'Come. 

Of Malt Songs probably the oldest extant are the different 
versions of ^ John a Maut " and ** AUane a Maut," taken from 
Whitelaw's <* Scottish Ballads", and originally from the Bannatyne 
MSS. These ballads are interesting, as being the undoubted 
originals of Bums' well-known version of ** John Barleycom." 

Allans a Maut. 

Quhen he wes zung, and ded in grene, 

Haifimd his air about his ene, 

Baith men and wemen did him mene. 

Barl€y and Malt. 315 

Quhen he grew on zon hillis he; — 
Qahy towld not AUane honorit be? 

His foster faider, fare of the toun, 
To vissy AUane he maid him boun ; 
He saw him lyane, allacei in a swoun 
For fault of help, and lyk to de; — 
Quhy sowld not Allane honorit be? 

Thay saw his heid begin to ryfe \ 
Syne for ane nureiss they send belyfe, 
Quha brocht with hir fifty-and-fyve 
Of men of war fiill prevely j — 
Quhy sowld not Allane honorit be? 

Thay ruschit fiirth lyk helles nikis. 
And erery ane of yame had hokis; 
They caut him shortly in your clukis. 
Syne band him in ane creddill of tre ; — 
Quhy sowld not Allane honorit be? 

Thay brot him invart in the land, 
Syne every freynd made him his band, 
Quhill they might owdir gang or stand, 
Never ane fute fra him to fle; — 
Quhy sowld not Allane honorit be? 

The grittest cowart in this land, 
Fra he with Allane efiter in band, 
That he may nowdir gang nor stand, 
Zet fourty sail not gar him fle; — 
Quhy sowld not Allane honorit be? 

Sir Allanis hewmond is ane cop, 
With an sege fedder on his top; 
Fra hand to hand so dois he hop, 
Quhill sum may nowdir speik nor sc;— 
Quhy should not Allane honorit be? 

3 1 6 In Praise of Ale. 

In Zule, quhen ilk man trings his carrell, 
Gude Allane lyes in to ane barrell ; 
Quhen he is thair, he dowtis ne purrell 
To cum on him be land or se; — 
Quhy sowld not Allane bonorit be? 

Zet wes yair nevir sa gay ane gallaney 
Fra he meit with our maister. Sir Allane, 
Bot gif he hald him by ye halbne, 
Bak wart on the flure ^lis he; — 
Quhy sowld not Allane honorit be? 

My maister Allane grew so stark^ 
Quhill he maid mony cuning clerk; 
Upoun yair faisis he settes his mark, 
A bluid reid nois besyd ye e ; — 
Quhy sowld not Allane honorit be? 

My maister Allane I may sair curs; 
He levis no mooy in my purs; 
At his command I mon deburs 
Moir nor ye twa pt of my fe; — 
Quhy sowld not Allane honorit be? 

And last, of Allane to conclude ; 
He is bening, courtas, and gude, 
And servis ws of our daly fude. 
And that with liberalitie; — 
Quhy sowld not Allane honorit be? 

The next version of the foregoing is taken from Jamieson's 
collection: — 

Gude Allan a' Maut was ance cad Bear, 
And he was cadged frac wa' to wear. 
And draggit wi' muck and syne wi' rain, 
Till he diet, and com' to life again* 

Barley and Malt. 3 1 7 

He first grew grene, syne he grew white, 
Syne a' men thocht that he was ripe ; 
And wi' crookit gullies and hafts o' tree 
They've hcw'd him down right douchtillie. 

Syne they've set Allan up into stooks. 
And casten on htm mony pleasant looks; 
They've turss'd him sjm on a sledy 
Till in the grain-yard they made his bed. 

Then men damb up upon a ladder. 
And happet his head frae wind and weather-; 
They've ta'en him neist up in their arms. 
And make his'shak-down in the bams. 

The hollin souples, that were sae snell, 
His back they loundert, roell for mell ; 
Mell for mell, and baff for baff, 
'Till his hide flew about his lugs like caff. 

Then in cam' Jennie wi' her riddle, 
And she gae mony a fike and fiddle ; 
Set up the doors, loot in the win'. 
To see what faucity fell frae him. 

The stow'd him up intill a seek. 
And o'er the horseback brook his neck ; 
Syne birstled they him upon the kill, 
l^ill he was bane dry for the mill. 

They cowpet him then into the hopper, 
And brook his banes, gnipper for gnoffer ; 
S3rne put the bum until the feed. 
And leepit the e'en out o' his head. 

Till in cam' Barmy-breeks his brither, 
Like ae gude^neibur to^crak'wi' anither ; 
Says Allane a Maut, ** Are ye gaun to die ? 
Rise up man first, and dance wi' me." 

3 1 8 In Praise of Ale. 

They danced about frae hand to hand, 
Till they danced o'er the working stand ; 
S3m in cam' Jennie wi' her dish. 
She gae mony a rummie rush. 

And Uskie-bae ne'er bure the bell 
Sae bald as Allan bure himsel'. 
Nor ever got his pride a fa* 
Till Carlies passed him at the wa'. 

Aytoun, in his Collection of Scottish Ballads, gives a somewhat 
modernised version of the foregoing, with the remark that, *< This 
curious old ditty, in honour of malt, which possibly may be 
the original of the popular ballads still current in Scodand, under 
the name of ' John Barleycorn,' was preserved in the Bannatyne 
MSS., and has long been printed in the collections of Messrs 
Jamieson & Laing: — 

When he was young and clad in green, 
Having his hair about his een, 
Baith men and women did him mene. 
When he grew on yon htlle's hie: 
Why should not Allan honoured be ? 

His foster-father furth of the town. 
To vissy Allan he made him boune; 
He saw him lying, alace in a swoun, 
For fault of help, and like to die: 
Why should not Allan honoured be ? 

They saw his head began to rive, 
Syne for a nourice they sent belive, 
Wha broucht wi* her fifty and ^v^ 
Of men of war full privily: 
Why should not Allan honoured be 

Barley and Malt. 3 1 9 

They rushed forth like hellish rooks, 
And every ane o' them had hooks; 
They caught him shortly in their crooks, 
Syne band him in a cradle of tree: 
Why should not Allan honoured be. 

They brocht him inward in the land. 
Syne every friend made him a band. 
While they might either gang or stand, 
Never a fool frae him to flee : 
Why should not Allan honoured be ? 

The greatest coward m this land, 
Free he wi' Allan enter in band, 
Tho' he may neither gang nor stand, 
Yet forty shall not gar him flee: 
Why should not Allan honoured be ? 

Sir Allan's hewmont is a cup. 
With a segg feather on its top ; 
Frae hand to hand so does he hop, 
Till some may neither speak nor see: 
Why should not Allan honoured be ? 

In Yule when ilk man sings his carol, 
Gude Allan hies into a barrel ; 
When he is there he doubts nae peril, 
To come on him by land or sea: 
Why should not Allan honoured be? 

Yet was there n^ver so gay a gallan' 
Frae he met wi' our Master Allan, 
But, gif he hauld him by the hallan, 
Backwork upon the floor falls be! 
Why should not Allan honoured be? 

320 In Praise of Ale. 

My Master Allan grew so stark. 
While he made many a cunning clerk; 
Upon their faces he sets his mark, 
A blade-red nose beside their e'e : 
Why should not Allan honoured be? 

My Master Allan 1 sair may curse ; 
He leave nae money in my purse. 
At his command I maun disburse, 
Mair nor the twa part o' my fee: 
Why should not Allan honoured be? 

And last of Allan to conclude. 
He is benign, courtass, and gude, 
And serves us of our daily food, 
And that with liberalitie: 
Why should not AUan honoured be? 

The next version, different from either the foregoing, is from 
the Roxburghe collection, No. 343. **Sir John Barley, a 
pleasant new ballad, to sing both Even and Mome, of the bloody 
rourther of Sir John Barley-Come." To the tune of " Shall I 
lye beyond thee." 

As I went through the North Country, 

I heard a merry greeting; 
A pleasant toy and full of joy. 

Two nobleman were meeting. 

And as they walked for to sporty 

Upon a summer's day, 
When with another nobleman 

They went to make a fray. 

Whose name was Sir John Barley-Come, 

He dwelt down in a vale : 
Who had a kinsman dwelt him night. 

They calPd him Thomas Goodale. 

Barley and Mali. 321 

Another named Richard Beere 

Was ready at that time : 
Another worthy knight was there. 

Called Sir WUliam White Wine. 

Some of them fought in a blacke-jackcy 

Some of them in a can: 
But the chiefest in a blacke-pot. 

Like a worthy nobleman. 

Sir John Barley-Come fought in a Boule, 

Who wenne the victorie, 
And made them all to fume and sweare, 

John Barley-Come should die. 

Some said kill him, some said drowne. 

Others wished to hang him hie: 
And as many as follow Barley-Corae, 

Shall surely beggars die. 

Then with a plough they ploughed him up. 

And thus they did devise, 
To bury him quick within the earth. 

And swore he should not rise. 

With harrows strong they comb^ him, 

And burst clods on his head : 
A joyful banquet then was made 

When Barley-Come was dead. 

He rested still within the earth, 

Till rain from skies did fall. 
Then he grew up in branches greene, 

And sore amaz'd them all. 

And so grew up till mid-summer. 

Which made them all afear'd: 
For he was sprouted upon hie, 

And got a goodly beard. 

32 2 In Praise of Ale. 

When he grew up till S. James tide, 
His countenance was wan, 

For he was grown unto his strength, 
And thus became a man. 

With hookes and sickles keeoe, 

Into the field they hide. 
They cut his legs off by the knees. 

And made him wounds full wide. 

Thus bloodily they cut him downe 
From place where he did stand, 

And like a thief for treachery. 
They bound him in a band. 

So then they tooke him up againe. 

According to his kind : 
And packt him up in seyerall stackes, 

To wither with the wind. 

And with a pitch-forke that was sharpe. 
They rent him to the heart, 

And like a thiefe for treason vile 
They bound him in a cart. 

And tending him with weapons strong, 
Unto the towne they hie. 

And straight they mowed him in a mow 
And there they let him lie. 

Then he lay groning by the wals, 
Till all his wounds were sore. 

At length they tooke him up againe, 
And cast him on the floore. 

Then hyred two with holly clubs, 
To beat on him at once, 

They thwacked so on Barley-Come, 
That flesh fell from the bones. 

Barky and Malt 323 

And then tbey tooke him up againe. 

To fulfill women's minde. 
They buffdd and they sifted him 

Till he was almost blind. 

And then they knit him in a sacke, 

Which grievM him full sore: 
They steep'd him in Tat, God vrot, 

For three days' space and oaore; 

Then they tooke him up againe, 

And laid him for to drie. 
They cast him on a chamber floore, 

And swore that he should die. 

They rubbed and they stirred him, 

And still they did him tumc; 
The Malt-man swore that he should die. 

His body he would bume. 

They spightfully tooke him up againe, 

And threw him on a kill: 
So dried him there with fire hot. 

And thus they wrought their wiU. 

Then they brought him to the mill, 

And there they burst his bones ; 
The Miller swore to murther him 

Betwixt a pair of stones. 

Then they tooke him up againe. 

An' 8er?*d him worse than that. 
For with hot scalding liquor^nr 

They wash't him in a vaL 

But not content with this, God wot. 

That did him muckle harme, 
With threat'ning words they promises 

To beat him into barme, 

X a 

324 Jn Praise of Ale. 

And lying b this danger deep 

For fear that he should quarrel], 
They tooke him straight out of the fat 

An' turned him ip a barrelL 

And then they set a tap to him, 

Even thus his death begun : 
They drew out every drain of blood, 

Whilst any drop would run. 

Some brought jacks upon their backs, 

Some brought bill and bow, 
And every man his weapon had, 

Barley-Come to overthrow. 

When Sir John Good-ale heard of this, 

He came with rouckle might, 
And there he tooke their tongues away. 

Their legs or else their sight. 

And thus Sir John in each respect 

So paid them all their hire. 
That some lay sleeping by the way. 

Some tumbling in the mire. 

Some lay groning by the wals, 

Some in the streets downe-right, 
The best of them did scarcely know 

What they had done ore night. 

All you good wives that brew good ale, 

God tume firom you all teeres; 
But if you put too much water in, 

The Devil put out your eyes. 

London: Printed for John Wright, and are to be sold at his 
shop in Guilt-spurre Street, at the sign of the Bib!e. 


Baney and Malt 325 

John Barley CoitN. 

There were three kings into the East, 
Three kings both great and high, 

And they hae sworn a solemn oath 
John Barle^rcom should die. 

They took a plough and ploughed him down. 

Put clods upon his head; 
And they hae sworn a solemn oath 

John Barleycorn was dead. 

But the cheerful spring came kindly on, 

And showers began to fall ; 
John Barleycorn got up again. 

And sore surprised them all. 

The sultry suns of summer came, 

And he grew thick and strong ; 
His head weel armed wi' pointed spears. 

That none should do him wrong. 

The sober autumn entered mild. 

When he grew wan and pale; 
His bending joints and drooping head 

Showed he began to fail. 

His colour sickened more and more, 

He faded into age ; 
And then his enemies began 

To show their deadly rage. 

They've taen a weapon, long and sharp, 

And cut him by the knee ; 
Then tied him fast upon a cart 

Like a rogue for forgerie. 

3 26 In Praise of Ale. 

They laid him down upon his back. 
And cudgelled him full sore; 

They hung him up before the storm. 
And turned him o*er and o'er. 

They iill^ up a darksome pit, 

With water to the brim ; 
They heaved in John Barleycorn, 

There let him sink or swim. 

They laid him out upon the floor 
To work him furtlier woe: 

And still, as signs of life appeared. 
They tossed him to and fro. 

They wasted, o'er a scorching flame. 

The marrow of his bones; 
But a miller used him worse of all, 

For he crushed him 'tween two stones. 

And they hae ta'en his very heart's blood, 
And drunk it round and round ; 

And still the more and more they drank. 
Their joy did more abound. 

John Barleycorn was a hero bold, 

Of noble enterprise ; 
For if you do but taste his blood 

'Twill make your courage rise. 

'Twill make a man forget his woe; 

'Twill heighten all his joy; 
'Twill make the widow's heart to sing, 

Though the tear was in her eye. 

Then let us toast John Barleycorn, 
Each man's a glass in hand ; 

And may his great posterity 
Ne'er fail in old Scodand ! 

Barley and Malt, 327 

•* Oh, WilJic brewed a Peck o* Maut " it another of Bums' 
songs, drawn from the same source of inspiration. Of this song 
Burns says: "The air is Masterton's, the song mine. The 
occasion of it was this: Mr W.lliam Nicol, of the High School, 
Edinburgh, during the autumn vacation being at Moffat, honest 
Allan (who was at that time on a \ isit to Dalswinton) and I went 
to pay Nicol a visit. We had such a joyous meeting, that 
Masterton and I agreed, each in our own way, that we should 
celebrate the business." Dr Currie, who mentions that Nicol's 
farm was that of Loggan, in Nithsdale, adds that, " These three 
honest fellows, all men of uncommon talents, were in 1 798 all 
under the turf." 

Oh, WiLUE Brewed. 
Tune — *• Willie brewed a peck o' maut." 

Oh, Willie brewed a peck o* maut. 

And Rob and Allan cam to pree: 
Three blyther hearts, that lee-lang night, 
Ye wad na find in Christendic. 
We are na fou, we're no that fou. 

But just a drappie in our ee ; 
The cock may craw, the day may daw. 
And aye we'll taste the barley bree. 

Here are we met, three merry boys, 
Three merry boys I trow arc we; 

And mony a night weVe merry been, 
And mony mae we hope to be! 
We are na fou, &c. 

It is the moon, I ken her horn. 
That's blinkin' in the lift sae hie; 

She shines &ae bright to wile us hame. 
But, by my sooth, she'll wait a wee ! 
We are na fou, 5cc. 

328 In Praise of Ale. 

Wha first shall rise to gang awa, 

A cuckold, coward loun is he! 
Wha last beside his chair shall h\ 

He is the King amang us three! 
We arc na fou, &c. 

The date of the song known as ^ Stingo, or Oil of Barley,*' is 
fixed by Mr W. Cbappell, F.S.A., between 1620- 1630. The 
learned editor of the old English Music then goes on to say : — 

** Traces of that doughty hero. Sir John Barleycorn, so famous 
in the days of ballad singing, «nre to be found as far back as the 
time of the Anglo-Saxons, as appears from the following transla- 
uon of the Exeter MSS., quoted by Mr Thos. Wright, F.S.A., 
in his literature and learning of the Anglo-Saxons, 1839: — 

" * A part of the earth is prepared beautifully with the hardest, 
and with the sharpest, and with the grimest productions of men, 
cut (sworfen), turned and dried, bound and twisted, bleached and 
awakened, ornamented and poured out, carried afar to the doors of 
the people ; it is joy in the inside of living creatures, it knocks and 
slights those of whom before, while alive, a long while it obeys 
the will, and expostulateth not ; and then after death it takes upon 
it to judge and talk furiously. It is greatly to seek by the wisest 
man what this creature is.' " 

After quoting so fully, I cannot do better than transcribe the 
song referred to: — 

Stoigo, or Oil of Barley. 

There's a iusty liquor which 

Good fellows use to take — a. 
It is distili'd with nard most rich, 

And water of the lake — a; 
Of hop a little quantity, 

And barm to it they bring too; 
Being barrell'd up, they call't a cup 

Of dainty good old stingo. 

Barley and Malt. 329 

'Twill make a man indentures make, 

Twill make a fool seem wise, 
'Twill make a Puritan sociate. 

And leave to be precise; 
'Twill make him dance about a cross. 

And eke to run the ring too. 
Or anything he once thought gross. 

Such yirtoe hath old stingo. 

'Twill make a constable over see 

Sometimes to serve a warrant; 
'Twill make a bailiff lose his fee, 

Though he be a knave-arrant; 
'Twill make a lawyer, though that he 

To ruin oft men brings, too. 
Sometimes forget to take his fee 

If his head be lin'd with stingo. 

'Twill make a parson not to flinch. 

Though he seem wondrous holy. 
And for to kiss a pretty wench, 

And think it is no folly; 
Twill make him learn for to decline 

The verb that's cailM mlngo^ 
'Twill make his nose like copper shine. 

If his head be lin'd with stingo. 

'Twill make a weaver break his yam, 

That works with right and left foot, 
But he hath a trick to save himself, 

He'll say there wanteth woof to 't; 
'Twill make a tailor break his thread, 

And eke his thimble ring too, 
'Twill make him^not to care for bread. 

If his bead be lin'd with stingo. 

33<^ In Praise of Ale. 

'Twill make a baker quite forget 

That ever corn was cheap, 
'Twill make a butcher have a fit 

Sometimes to dance and leap; 
'Twill make the mill.T keep his room, 

A health for to begin, too, 
'Twill make him shew his golden thumb. 

If his head be lin'd with stingo. 

'Twill make an hostess free of heart. 

And leave her measures pinching, 
'Twill make an host with liquor part. 

And bid him hang all flinching ; 
It*s so belov'd, I dare protest. 

Men cannot live without it. 
And when they 6nd there is the best 

The most will flock about it. 

And, finally, the beggar poor, 

That walks till he be weary. 
Craving along from door to door, 

With pre^commiserere : 
If he do change to catch a touch, 

Although his clothes be thin, too, 
Though he be lame, he*ll prove his crutch 

If his head be lin'd with stingo. 

Now to conclude, here is a health 

Unto the lad that spendeth. 
Let every man drink off his can. 

And so my ditty endeth ; 
I willing am my friend to pledge, 

For he will meet me one day ; 
Let's drink the barrel to the dregs, 

For the malt-man comes a Monday 

Barley and Mali. 33 1 

Here 18 another Tariadon on the same theme, and as the music 
was by Purday of St Paul's Churchyard, I take the song to be of 
more recent date than Bums : — 

The Merry Days of ENCLAKa 

They were merry days for England, in cottage and in hall. 
When Sir John Barleycorn was free, and paid no tax at all ; 
When Sir John BaHeycom was free, we'd neither want nor woe, 
For he fiH'd each manly heart with glee, and cheer'd both high 
and low. 

They were merry days for England, when peasants brtw'd good 

And Sir John Barleycorn was free to glad them all the year ; 
When Sir John Barleycorn was {x^^ our peasants were content. 
Nor envied men of high degree their wealth and their descent. 

They were merry days for England, as we read in song and tale, 
When we'd neither whtgs nor tories, but the merry nut-brown ale; 
When Sir John Barleycorn was free, he cheer'd both high and 

And instead of sickly pale-faced tea, we*d a drink to make 

hearts glow. 

We'd have merry days in England in spite of care and toil. 
If Sir John Barleycorn were free for the men who till the soil; 
When Sir John Barleycorn is free we'll fear no foreign foe, 
Nor sip slow death in poisoned lee, for the malt's pure juice shall 

They'll be merry days in England for the farmer and his man, 
When Sir John Barleycorn is free to fill the earthen can, 
When Sir John Barleycorn is free and pays no tax at all, 
Then merry will our counties be from the cottage to the hall. 

332 In Praise 9/ Ak. 

Hene is one of the oldest malt ballads in the English language, 
from the Roxburgh collection: — 

j1 New Ballad for you to looke on : bow mault doth deale with 
everyone, — To the tune of Triumph and Joy* 

Mass Mault he is a gentleman. 

And hath been since the world began ; 

I never knew yet any man 

That could match with Master Mault, sir. 

I never knew any match Mault but once — 
The Miller with his grinding stones; 
He laid him so close that he crush 't his bones, 
You never knew the like, sir. 

Mault, Mault, thou art a flowre. 
Thou art beloved in every house, 
Thou canst not be missing one halfe-houre, 
You never saw the like, sir. 

For laying of his stones so close 
Mault gave the Miller a copper nose, 
Saying thou and I will never be foes, 
But unto thee I stick, sir. 

Mault gave the Miller such a blow. 
That from his horse he fell full low; 
He taught his master, Mault, for to know, 
You never saw the like, sir. 

Our hostesse-maid she was to blame — 
She stole Master Mault away ftom her dame, 
And in her belly she hid the same, 
You never saw the like, sir. 

Barley and Midi. 333 

So when the Mault did worke b her head. 
Twice a-day she would be sped ; 
At night she could not go to bed, 
Nor scarce stand on her feet, sir. 

Then in came the Master Smith, 
And said that Mault he was a theefe; 
But Mault gave him such a dash in the teeth. 
You never saw the like, dr. 

For when his nose was hot and red. 
He had such an ach all in his head, 
The Smith was fain to get him to bed. 
For then he was very sick, dr. 

The Carpenter came a peace to square. 
He bade Mault come out if he dare. 
He would empty his belly and beat his ddes hare, 
That he knew rvt where to dt, dr. 

To fire he went with an armful of chips ; 
Mault hit him right between his lips. 
And made him lame in both his hips, 
You never saw the like, dr. 

The Shooe-maker sitting upon his seat, 
With Master Mault began to fret ; 
He said he would the nave so beat. 
You never saw the like| sir. 

Mault peept his head out of a hall ; 
The Shooe-maker said he would drink him up all ; 
They tumbled together till down they did fall. 
You never saw the like, dr. 

The weaver being in his loome. 
He threatened Master Mault to hum, 
When he had knit on to the thum, 
You never saw the like, dr. 

.334 ^^ Praise af AU. 

And such a court some weaTeri held — 
They would pay our hostess when they had feld ; 
But when every one had his part and deald, 
They knew not where to sit, sir. 

The Tinker he tooke the Wearer's part, 
Because that touching unto his art; 
He took the pot and drank a quart. 
The worde was rery quicke, sir. 

Mault had of him his owne desire — 
He made him tumble into the fire. 
And there he lost his burling ire, 
He hath not found it yet, sir. 

The Taylor came in to guide his sheares, 
Mault and he were together by the eares ; 
Great is the company that Mault still reares, 
You never saw the like, sir. 

For when his pressing-iron was hot 
He pressed a boord instead of a coat, 
And sayled home in a feather-bed boat 
You never saw the like, sir. 

So then the Tinker he found his pan, 
And saidy Master Mault, I must be gone ; 
I am the good fellow that helpeth each one. 
You never saw the like, sir. 

The Tinker then thathe was faine 
With Mault to have a bout or twain, 
Mault hit him sore in every vaine. 
You never saw the like, sir. 

Then he spake the tinker anon, 

He said he would prove himself a man ; 

He laid on Mault — ^the bonsse was gone. 

The Bung and the Tinker fell seeke, sir. 

Barley and Malt, 335 

The Taylor he did curae and ban, 
He had the boy go up the can ; 
He'd have a bout with Malt anon, 
You never saw the like, dr. 

Aboozed they went to try their match. 
And there they played at hops and catch, 
Madt bestowed him under the hatch, 
And made him keep the ship, sir. 

Then came the Chapman travelling by. 
And said, my masters, I will be w'ye ; 
Indeed, Master Mault, my mouth is dry, 
I will gnaw you with my teeth, sir. 

The Chapman he laid on apace. 
Till store of blood came in his face. 
But Mault brought him in such a case. 
You ne\'er saw the like, sir. 

The Mason came an oven to nuke, 
The Bricklayer he his part did take ; 
They bound Mault to the good old suke, 
You never saw the like, sir. 

Then Mault began to tell his mind, 
And plied them with ale, beere, and wine ; 
They left brick, axe, and trowell behind. 
They could not lay a bricke, nr. 

Then came the Labourer out with his hood. 
And saw his two masters how they stood ; 
He took Master Mault by the whood. 
And swore he would him stricke, sir. 

Mault he ran and for feare did weep. 
The Labourer he did skip and leape ; 
But Mault cast him in the mortar heape, 
And there he fell asleep, sir« 

336 In Praise of Ale. 

The Butcher came to buy a sheepe : 
He said he would make Mault to creepe ; 
But Mault made him the cat to whip, 
You never saw the like, sir. 

The Glover came to buy a skin, 
Mault hit him right below the chin. 
The Pewter John came doubling in, 
You never saw the like, sir. 

And laid on head, arroes, and joynts. 
Took away his gloves and grosse of poynts, 
And swore they had paid him in quarts and pints. 
You never saw the like, sir. 

Thus of my song I will make an end, 
And pray my hostess to be my friend, 
To give me some drinke now my money is spent. 
Then Mault and I are quit, sir. 

The next song is a thoroughly representative one, taken from 
Whitelaw's collection. 

John Maut. 

Ye'U a' ha'e heard tell O John Maut, John Maut, 

Ye'll a' ha'e heard tell O John Maut : 
He's been sae to blame, that he's got a bad name. 

But, faith ! he's far waur than he's ca't, John Maut. 

His doublet is raggit, John Maut, John Maut, 

His doublet is raggit, John Maut, 
His hat's down in the crown, he has awfu' like shoon. 

And his stockings are waefully gaut, John Maut ; 
Ye'll a' ha'e heard tcU, &c. 

Barley and Malt. 337 

He swears like a trooper, John Maut, John Maut, 

He swears like a trooper, John Maut ; 
He ne'er sticks at a lee, and he'll fecht wi' a flee, 

Tho' nane but himsel's in the faut, John Maut. 
Ye'll a' ha'e heard tell, &c. 

He's whiles in the skies, John Maut, John Maut, 

He's whiles in the skies, John Maut ; 
But down in the mud, he plays clash wi' a thud, 

And his claes ye might clean wi' a claut, John Maut. 
Ye'll a' ha'e heard tell, Sec. 

The weans they get fiin wi' John Maut, John Maut, 

The weans they get fun wi' John Maut; 
They hoot and they cry as they see him gan by. 

But whiles, though, he lends them a claut, John Maut. 
Ye'll a' ha'e heard tell, &c. 

The lasses a' lo'e John Maut, John Maut, 

The lasses a' lo'e John Maut ; 
They swear it's no true, but they get themseWes fou. 

And then they sairly misca't John Maut. 
Ye'll a' ha'e heard tell, &c. 

The wives are fond o' John Maut, John Maut, 

The wives are fond o' John Maut ; 
They say he is gran', they ne'er mind their guidman, 

But they coax, and they cuddle, and daut John Maut. 
Ye'll a' ha'e heard tell, &c. 

Sac, I redd ye tak' tent o' John Maut, John Maut, 

I redd ye tak' tent o' John Maut ; 
He's no wecl to ha'e for a frien' or a fae, 

Sae I redd ye keep out o' his claut, John Maut. 
Ye'll a' ha'e heard tell, &c. 

Jamieson, in his collection, gives the following as the original 
version which Bums adapted. Dixon states, however, in his 


338 In Praise of Ak. 

Ballads of the Peasantry of England* that John Barley Com was 
a very ancient West Country Ballad: — 

John Barley Corn. 

There came three merry men from the East, 

And three merry men they be ; 
And they hare sworn a solemn oath, 

John Barley Com should dee. 

They're ta'en a plough and ploughed him down, 

Put clods upon his head ; 
And they have sworn a splemn oath, 

John Barley Com was dead. 

But the Spring time it came on at last, 

And showers began to fall ; 
When Barley Com sprang up again, 

Which did surprise them all. 

Then the Summer heat on him did beat. 

And he grew pale and wan ; 
John Barley Com has got a beard 

Like any other man. 

They've ta'en a hook that was full sharp, 

And cut him above his knee ; 
And they've bound him intill a com cart, 

Like a thief for the gallows tree. 

They've ta'en twa sticks, that were full stout, 

And sore they beat his bones ; 
The miller used him worse than that, 

And ground him between two stones. 

The browster-wife we'll not forget ; 

She well her tale can tell ; 
She's ta'en the sap out of his bodie. 

And made of it gude ale. 

Barley and Malt. 339 

Aod they have fill*d it 10 a cup, 

And drank it round atd round, 
And aye the mair they drank o' it, 

The mair did joy abound. 

John Barley Corn is the mightiest raan 

That ever throve in land ; 
For he could put a Wallace down 

Wi* the tumin' of his hand. 

He'll gar the huntsman shoot his dog ; 

His gold a miser scorn ; 
He'll gar a maiden dance, stark naked, 

Wi' the toomin' of a horn. 

He'll change a man into a boy, 

A boy into an ass ; 
He'll change your gold into silver, 

And your silver into brass. 

And here we have his very heart-blood, 

Sae bizzin' bright and brown ; 
And aye we'll birl the tither stoup, 

And aye we'll bend it roun'. 

And ye will drink a health to me, 

And ril drink ane to you ; 
For he never misses health or wealth. 

That wi' Johnny's Mood is fu'. 

Bums's edition is too well-known to need reprinting. 

John Philips, the scholarly author of ** The Splendid Shilling " 
and " Cyder," did not disdain to pen a few stanzas in praise of 
Barley and the produce thereof, in his poem of ** Cerealia ":— r- 

" Of English tipple, and the potent grain, 
Which in the conclave of Celestial powers 

Y I 

340 J^ Praise of Ale. 

Bred fell debate, aog. Nymph of heavenly stem. 
Who on the hoary top of Pen-main-maur 
Merlin the seer did visit, whilst he sate 
With astrolabe prophetic, to foresee 
Young actions issuing from the Fates' divan. 
Full of thy power infus'd by nappy ale, 
Darkling he watch'd the planetary orbs. 
In their obscure sojourn o'er heaven's high cope. 
• •••••• •• 

Then from beneath her Tyrian vest she took 
The bearded ears of grain she most admir'd, 
Which god's call Chrithe, in terrestrial speech, 
Eycleped Barley. " 'Tis to this,** she cry'd, 
" The British cohorts owe their martial fame. 
And ^r-redoubted prowess, matchless youth ! 
This, when returning from the foughten field, 
Or None, or Iberian, seam'd with scars, 
(Sad signatures of many a dreadful gash 1) 
The veteran, carousing, soon restores 
Puissance to his arm, and strings his nerves." 

Bloomfield, in his " Banks of the Wye," follows in a somewhat 
similar, though more homely, strain: — 

" And deem not that, where cider reigns. 
The beverage of a thousand plains. 
Malt, and the liberal harvest horn, 
Are all unknown, or laugh'd to scorn ; 
A spot that all delights might bring, 
A palace form an eastern king, 
Canfromc, shall from her vaults display 
John Barleycorn's resistless sway. 
To make the odd of fortune even, 
Up bounced the cork of ' seventy-seven,' 
And sent me back to school ; for then, 
Ere yet I learn'd to wield the pen ; 

Barley and Malt 341 

The pen that should all crimes assail, 
The pen that leads to fame — or jail ; 
Then steam'd the malt, whose spirit bears 
The frosts and suns of thirty years ! " 

Somerville also grows patriotic over the " Barley Broth," in his 
"Hobbinol," Canto III. 

«* Nor does the jolly god 
Deny his precious gifts ; here jocund swains, 
In uncouth mirth delighted, sporting quaff 
Their native beverage ; in the brimming glass 
The liquid amber smiles. Britons, no more 
Dread your invading foes ; let the false Gaul, 
Of rule insatiate, potent to deceive, 
And great by subtile wiles, from the adverse shore 
Pour forth his numerous hosts ; Iberia ! join 
Thy towering fleets, once more aloft display 
Thy consecrated banners, fill thy sails 
With prayers and vows, most formidably strong 
In holy trumpery, let old Ocean groan 
Beneath the proud Armada, vainly dcem*d 
Invincible ; yet fruitless all their toils. 
Vain every rash effort, while our fat glebe. 
Of barley grain productive, still supplies 
The flowing treasure, and with sums immense 
Supports the throne ; while this rich cordial warms 
The farmer's courage, arms his stubborn soul 
With native honour, and resistless rage 
Thus vaunt the crowd, each freebom heart o erflows 
With Britain's glory, and his country's love." 

In Staffordshire they now use a sort of malt made of oats 
mixed with barley, which they call dreg-malt And in Essex, 
&c., they have a grain called dreg, of which Tom Tusser, in his 
•• Husbandrie,*' says: — 

342 In Praise of Ale. 

** Sow barley and dreg» with a plentiful hand. 
Lest weed 'sted of seed overgroweth thy land. 
Thy dreg and thy barley, go thresh out to Malt.*' 

In Cowels' " Interpreter," 1701 A.a, the word is given as a 
verb, Dragium. 

The following fragmentary verses, descriptive of rustic rejoic- 
ings in harvesting the last load of barley into the mow, are 
taken from a longer ballad quoted in Hone's Every Day Book: — 

The Harrow and the Plough. 

Let the scythe and sickle lie 

Undisturbed for many a day ; 
Labour stoops without a sigh, 

And grisly care is gay; 
Bless the Harrow and the Plough ! 

Bless the glorious Barley Mow, 

Now the miller's hoppers play ; 

Now the maltster's kiln is dry; 
Empty casks prepare the way. 

And mirth is in the eye: 
Praise the sun and trim the bough — 

Hail the golden Barley Mow, 

The ploughshare as a means to that end which is consum- 
mated when the last load is drawn to the barley mow, deserves 
praises : — 

The Ploughshare of Old England. 

The sailor boasts his stately ship, the bulwark of our isle, 
The soldier loves his sword, and sings of tented plains the while, 
But wc will hang our ploughshare up within our father's halls, 
And guard it as the deity of plenteous festivals. 

Barley and Malt. 343 

We'll pluck the brilliant poppies, and the &r-Euii'd barley corn. 
To wreath with bursting wheat ears that outshine the saffinon mom, 
Well crown it with a glowing heart, and pledge our fertile land, 
The ploughshare of Old England and the sturdy peasant band. 

The work it does is good and blest, and may be proudly told. 
We see it in the teeming bams and fields of waTing gold. 
Its petal is unsullied, no blood-staio lingers there — 
God q)eed it well and let it thrive unshackled ererywhere. 

The bark may rest upon the wave, the spear nuy gather dust. 
But nerer may the prow that cuts the furrow lie and rast. 
Fill up, fill up, with glowing heart, and pledge our fertile land, 
The ploughshare of Old England and the sturdy peasant bond. 

Not less noteworthy than either of the foregoing is ''The 
Barley Mow Song," which was alwajrs '* sung at country meetings 
in Devon and Cornwall, particularly on completing the carrying 
of the barley, when the rick, or mow of barley, is finished. On 
putting up the last sheaf, which is called the craw (or crow) 
sheaf, the man who has it cries out, ' I hare it, I hare it, I hare 
it;' another demands, *What have 'ee, what hare 'ee, what 
have 'ee?' and the answer is, 'A craw! a craw! a craw!' 
upon which there is some cheering, &c., and a supper afterwards. 
The effect of • The Barley Mow Song ' cannot be given in words; 
it should be heard to be appreciated properly — particulariy with 
the west-country dialect." "Ah me and waes me!" as old 
T. Carlyle wailed. Old times have changed, old manners gone, 
and these good old customs which brought master and man 
together are fast dying out. 

Here's a health to the barley noow, brave boys, 

Here's a health to the barley mow! 
We'll drink it out of the jolly brown bowl. 
Here's a health to the barley mow! 

Here's a health to the barley mow, brave boys, 
Here's a health to the barley mow! 

344 ^^ Praise of Ale, 

We'll drink it out of the nipperkin, boys, 

Here's a health to the barley mow! 
The nipperkin and the jolly brown bowl, 

Here's a health, &c. 

WeTl drink it out of the quarter-pint, boys. 

Here's a health to the barley mow ! 
The quarter-pint, nipperkm, &c 

Here's a health, &c. 

We'll drink it out of the half-a-pint, boys, 

Here's a health to the barley mow! 
The half-a-pint, quarter-pint, &c. 

Here's a health, &c. 

We'll drink it out of the pint, my brave boys. 

Here's a health to the barley mow ! 
The pint, the half-a-pint, &c. 

Here's a health, 5rc. 

Well drink it out of the quart, my brave boys, 

Here's a health to the barley mow! 
The quart, the pint, &c. 

Here's a health, &c. 

We'll drink it out of the pottle, my boys. 

Here's a health to the barley mow ! 
The pottle, the quart, 5cc. 

Here's a health, &c. 

Well drink it out of the gallon, my boys. 

Here's a health to the bariey mow ! 
The gallon, the pottle, &c. 

Here's a health, &c 

We'll drink it out of the half-anker, boys, 

Here's a health to the barley mow ! 
The half-anker, gallon, &c. 

Here's a health, 5cc. 

Barley and Malt. 345 

We'll drink it out of the anker, my boys, 

Here's a health to the barley mow ! 
The anker, the half-anker, &c. 

Here's a health, &c. 

We'll drink it out of the half-hogshead, boys. 

Here's a health to the barley mow ! 
The half-hogshead, the aoker, &c. 

Here's a health, &c. ' 

We'll drink it out of the hogshead, my boys, 

Here's a health to the barley mow I 
The hogshead, half-hogshead, &c. 

Here's a health, &c. 

We'll drink it out of the pipe, my brave boys. 

Here's a health to the barley mow ! 
The pipe, the hogshead, &c 

Here's a health, &c. 

We'll drink it out of the well, my brave boys, 

Here's a health to the barley mow ! 
The well, the pipe, &c. 

Here's a health, &c. 

We'll drink it out of the river, my boys. 

Here's a health to the barley mow ! 
The river, the well, &c. 

Here's a health, &c. 

We'll drink it out of the ocean, my boys, 

Here's a health to the barley mow ! 
The ocean, the river, the well, the pipe, the hogshead, the half- 
hogshead, the anker, the half-ankcr, the gallon, die pottle, 
the quart, the pint, the half-a-pint, the quarter-|)int, the 
nippcrkin, and the jolly brown bowl ! 
Here's a health to the barley mow, my brave boys ! 
Here's a health to the barley noow ! 

346 In Praise of Ale, 

The foregoing verses are very much ad iibhum^ but always in 
the third line repeating the whole of the previously named 
measures, as shown in the recapitulation at the close of the last 
verse. Those who have ever been privileged to go to a real old 
harvest home supper will know that the boys emptied the cans, 
the nipperkins, &c., most conscientiously. 

There have been many mutilated versions of the following, but 
the subjoined is the full and true and an authorised report. 


Whole TRYAL and Indictment 


Sir yohn Barley-Corn^ Knight. 

A Person of Noble Birth and Extraction and well known to 
both Rich and Poor throughout the Kingdom of Great 
Britain: Being accused for several Misdemeanours by him 
committed against Her Majesty's Liege people ; by Killing 
some, Wounding others, and bringing Thousands to Beggary, 
to the ruin of many a good family. 

Here you have the Substance of the Evidence given in against 
him on his Tryal, with the names of Judges^ Jury^ and 
Witnesses; also the comical Defence Sir John makes for 
himself, and the good Character given by some of his 
Neighbours ; namely, Hrwson^ the Cobler, an honest friend 
to Sir Jobn^ who is Entom'd as a Memorandum at the Two 
Brewers in East Smithfield, 

Taken in Short Hand by Timothy Toss Pot, Foreman of the 

London : Printed for J. Dutton^ near Fleet street^ 1 709. 

The whole Tryal and Indictment of Sir John Barley-Com, 


By a Special Commission of the Peace, held October the 1 6M, 
at Fulhpot'Hall^ in the Kingdom of Utofiay before the Right 

Barley and Malt. 347 

Wonhipfttl Sir Solomon Sobersides^ and Sir Lucifer Bettswagger^ 
chief Judges of the Court of King Baccbns^ the aforesaid Sir 
John Barley-Com^ Knight, was brought on his Tryal. The 
Court being sat, and the Prisoner placed at the Bar, the Jury was 
called ofer as follows : — 

Timotby Tosspot. 
Benfonun Bumper. 
GiOs Lick^Spigot. 
Bamahy Pull' Pot. 
I^mcelot Toper. 
John Six'go^Downs. 

Richard Standfast. 
Small Stout. 
John Never Sober. 
ObacBah Thirsty. 
Nicholas Spend Thr^. 
Edmond Empty^Purte. 

Against whom the Prisoner, Sir John^ having no Excepdons, 
the Clerk proceeded to open the Indictment ai follows : — 

Clerk.'\ Sir John Barley^Com^ of the County of Drink McJt^ 
Kt., for that thou hast in a very bold and audacious manner, 
knocked down, killed, maimed, and despoiled many of Her 
Majesty's good and lawful Subjects; also, that thou hast for 
many years, and still doth hold a trayterous Conspiracy with 
Bamahy Hop^ Esq., and Timothy Mash Pat^ a Brewer, two as 
notorious persons as thyself, by and with their assistance, to 
intoxicate the heads of honest and well meaning People, to the 
ruining and impoverishing of their Persons and Estates ; so that 
many poor Mans Wife and Children sit at home, wanting what 
they sinfully waste in thy inticing Company, as will appear by 
many credible Witnesses, who are deplorable instances of the 
truth of this indictment Therefore what sayest thou? Art 
thou Guilty of the Fact for which thou standest Indicted, or not 
Guilty ? 

Sir John."] Not Guilty. 

Clerh.2 How wilt thou be try'd ! 

Sir John."] By the Opinion of all Judicious Persons. 

ClerL"] Cryer, Make Proclamation. 

Cryer.'] O yes, O yes; If any Person can inform the Judges 
of any Murders, Treasons, or other Misdemeanours committed 
by the Prisoner at the Bar, let them come into Court, and they 
shall be heard in their several Orders. 

348 In Praise of Ale, 

CltrL2 CaU JohM Fukan the Blacksmith. 

Fukan.'] Here. 

CM,"] iDform the Judges what thou hast to alledge against 
the Prisoner at the Bar. 

Fulcan.l ^V ^ please your Honours IVorships^ and you 
Gentlemen of the Jury^ I am very wfll — nay very intimately ac^ 
quainted with the Prisoner at the Uar^ and that your Worships 
wW have reason to judge when I have told you alL I am a 
Bldcismith by my Trade^ and being liable to much Heat^ had an un^^ 
quenchable Spark in my Throaty which sometimes^ 1 may say often^ 
going to quench with a single Pot^ Sir John has laid hold of me, 
and so drawn me in that I have not been able to part without a 
gallon^ and when I would have gone about my Business, he has 
catched me fast hold of the Noddle, trifd up my Heels, and laid me 
flat on my Back, and made me unfit to go to work for three Days 
afterguards ; and besides having my Head and my Bones ake the 
next Momwg: it has set my Wif^s tongue a-going Tike a Paper Mill; 
so that wiith the IJfe I have lived on one side, and having my 
Pocket pick* d on toother side, it makes me truly sensible of my Error, 
and that I think Sir John ought to be punished for seducing honest 
Men at this rate, so that I can hardly keep a Half Peck Loaf in 
my Cupboard for keeping mc Company, This, Gentlemen, is my 
grievance, and I hope that the Prisoner at the Bar shall be punish' d 

Clerk.-] Call minam Shuttle the Weaver. 

Shuttle,"] Gentlemen, I have a few things to alledge against 
the Prisoner at the Bar, and those I shall sum up in a very few 
Words. I am but a poor Man, and have a Wife and a great 
charge of Children ; I am a Weaver by my Trade, and can never 
sit at my loom, but this Wicked Companion is enticing me from 
my Work, and is never quiet until he get me to the Ale House, 
and when I am there I have no mind to come Home again, 
where he always picks a Quarrel with me and abuses mc, and 
sometimes he sets upon me like a Robber or Footpad, tyes me 
Neck and Heels, throws mc into a Ditch and there leaves me till 
next morning with never a Penny in my Pocket ; so that if you 
Hang him, Behead him or Quarter him, you have my free Con- 

Barley and Malt 349 

sent with all my Heart and Soul from the very bottom of my 

Clerk.'] Call Tbcma* Snip the Taylor. What do you know 
of the Priaoner at the Bar ? 

Smp. ] Know ! I'm sure I know no good of him ; for my 
part I never cared for his Company in my Life, for I always 
lov'd my Neighbour IVheai better than Barley. But one time as 
I was coming home from Work, I espy'd Sir John and two or 
three good Fellows a' quarrel ling» so what do's I but steps be- 
tween them, and makes them good Friends. Sir John presently 
pick'd a quarrel with me, gave me such a knock of the Crown 
that I fell Backwards and had likely to Burst myself. I 
broke my Yard and both my Elbows, so that I could not work 
for a Fortnight afterwards ; and what is still worse, he is got 
acquainted with my Wife and sends her home in a Scolding 
Mood every Night, and for my part unless I am as Drunk as she, 
I dare not say my Soul's my own ; and if he continues to debauch 
her in that manner, I am an undone Man. Therefore I hope 
your Worships will take it into your Considerations and put him 
to the same Death that I have put many of my Enemies to — 
that is, Snap off his Head. 

6'Zfri.] Call Sarah Stitch. Woman, tell the Court what you 
know of the Prisoner at the Bar — Sir John Barley^Com — and 
speak out that the Court and Jury may hear you. 

Sarah Stitch. ] Yes, sir, I will. I am sure I've reason enough 
to speak, that all the Town may hear me. May it please the 
Worshipful Bench, I am a poor Journeyman Shoemaker's wife ; 
and there's hardly a night I come home fix>m my Business, for I 
sell Fish about the Streets, but I find my Husband in Sir John 
Barlty^Com^s company, and ten to one, if I ask him to come 
home, and Sir John and he be very great, but he gives me a 
Kick of the Breach — an't please your Honours. He can cam his 
ten shillings a week, but what by neglecting his work to follow 
Sir John up and down, and what he spends in his company, it 
hardly comes to Ten Pence a Week. We have three children, 
and if I did not bustle in the World we might all starve, and 
what vexes me more is, when my husband was arretted by )4t 

3 JO In Praise of Ale, 

IVbeailthe Baker, and in trouble, I went in all haate to his old 
Friend Sir John Barley^Corn to see if I could borrow a crown 
towards paying the Bailiffs, but instead of lending me anything, 
he told me he did not value my Husband's Company, and that 
he had warned him several times to keep out of it ; and yet this 
Fool when he has got 6d. in his Pocket will immediately run 
and spend it with him. So that if he bean't punished some how 
or other, I and my children are like to trouble the Parish. 

Clerk.'] Call James IVheat the Baker. 

Wbeat,] Most reverend Judge, I have this to say against the 
Prisoner at the Bar, that I am daily and hourly abused by him. 
I have been a Man esteem 'd of among the best of People — 
Lords, Knights, and Esquires — and none could please them so 
well as James Wheat the Baker. But the case is alterd ; Sir 
John Barley Com is the man that carries it. He is preferred in 
Gentlemen's Houses, and is in favour with all Servants, especially 
the Butler. Many Country Gentlemen worship him and fall 
down before him ; nay, I can prove he has made many a one 
consume his Estate, and to sell House and Land and leave his 
Family Beggars, and all to maintain this idle and pernicious 
Companion, Sir John Barley^Corn ; and when Men have no- 
thing left, for the fancy they bear to Sir John Barley •Corn^ they'll 
rob and steal to keep him Company, when he is such an un- 
grateful Fellow himself, that if they were starving he wou'd not 
give them a Meal's Meat. Therefore, I hope your Honours 
will take it into your Considerations, and as a common Dis- 
turbance and Grievance to Mankind, far beyond any Thief that 
steals their goods, let him suffer Death according to his 

Sir Oliver Sobersides.] Sir John, you hear the charge against 
you ; what have you to say for yourself ? You are represented 
as a Destructive Person to the Commonwealth, and, indeed, as 
the Evidence stands against you, unless you clear yourself, I 
cannot see but that you highly deserve to suffer ; it now comes 
in course that you make your Defence. 

Sir Lucifer BeOstvagger.] I am of opinion, Brother Judge, 
that Sir John will and can fairly vindicate himself from this charge. 

Barley and Malt. 351 

t wou'd have no man condemn him before he is heard. Nor 
can I tee any harm in keeping him Company, so long as he does 
not force them. It shows rather that he is a facetious, merry 
person, and of pleasant Behaviour that his company is so desirous. 
Therefore Jet's hear him before we determine anything. 

Sir John."] I humbly beg that I may have the benefit of the 
Law, the Benefit of every Free Bom Subject, to speak for 
myself. Every man will strive to make his Case seem as good 
as he can, although he himself is in the greatest Fault, as the old 
Proverb says, Sfme had better steal a sheep than look over the 
hedge^ which is like my case, and I am afraid that there is Malice 
and Bribery against me. Now, as I am accused by all those 
persons, I shall answer them all together and speak nothing but 
the Truth. I confess my Name is Barlej'^Corn^ and have been 
deservedly Knighted for the Service I have done the Common- 
wealth, of which I am a good and loyal Member. In the first 
place. Gentlemen, besides making many an honest Man's Pot 
Boil. I do service to the Commonwealth by raising the Excise, 
a third part which is one of the best Branches of tl)e Crown 
Revenue. I am deservedly cstct*m'd by all sober and moderate 
People, for the Good I do when seasonably consulted, and put 
to a right use. I am one that never forces any Body — but leave 
them alone to do as they please —either to keep me Company or 
let it alone, so that if they keep me Company, they may thank 
themselves. And, whereas, they say they are ruined by Sir John 
Barlej^Com^ I will prove the Indictment to be wrong laid, for 'tis 
not Barley "Corn does all this they complain on, but my Uncle 
Maulty for I am an innocent Person till I am found in his Com- 
pany, therefore I hope you will not adjudge me for my Uncle's 
^ults, hut put the saddle on the right horse. 

Sir OKver Sobersides,'] Truly, there is some reason in thaL 
Mr Mault, what do you say for yourself ? If you are not pre« 
pared, the Court is willing to grant you time. 

lArlMault.'] No, I am willing to answer for myself. As 
for my part, I will leave my case to the Bench. First, I pray, 
consider with yourselves. All Trades will live, and altho' I 
sometimes with my cousin. Sir Johns^ help, make a Cup of good 

35 2 In Praise of Ale. 

Liquor, and many men come to taste it, yet the Fault is in neither 
of us, but io them that make the Complaint Else let 'em stay 
till they are sent for. Who can deny but that Mr Mauli can 
make a cup of good liquor by the help of a good Brewer, and 
when it is made it must, be sold. I pray, which of you all can live 
without it ? Where else would you sop your Toast and Nut- 
meg ; and what should asswadge the thirst of Gammons and Red 
Herrings, were I to suffer ? Lords, Knights, and Esquires 
would want their March beer and October^ to treat their Tenants 
and their Friends. Bottle, Ale, and Stout would be wanted at 
/j/ington and Highgate to treat your Wives with. Old women 
would want Hot Pots of Brandy and Ale, and the good wife 
that lies in could have no Caudle. And consider whether these 
Grievances would not overwhelm the slender Complaint of these 
Persons who have been of a greedy Mind, and cannot afford the 
expense, and may justly be compared with the Fox in the Fable, 
who wouid^ when he could not come at the Grapes^ cry'd they were 
sowre. Then, pray, judge whether they or we were in the fault ? 

Sir Lucifer Bellswagger.'] Truly, I can't see wherein you are 
blameable at all if you make this appear. Have you no witnesses 
to call. 

Sir John and Mr Moult.'] Yes, several. Call William Fal' 
low Field, the Plowman, (The Plowman enters.) — Gentle- 
men, I pray, may a man speak without Offence — that do's intend 
to speak nothing but the Truth and no more. 

The Judges,] Yes, thou may'st be bold to speak the Truth 
and no more, for that is the Cause we sit herefore — therefore 
speak boldly, that we may understand thee. 

The Plowman,] Gentlemen, in the first place, let me hear 
what bold, impudent Rogue dare speak one word against Sir John 
Barley^Com ? Whosoever he is, he is no better than a Rogue, 
a Thief, a Vagabond, a Traytor to the Brown Loaf, a Thief to 
the Brass Pot, the Oven, and the Spit. Nay, he is a Traytor to 
the whole World that would take away the life of so noble a 
man as Sir John Barley^Com^ for he is a Man of an Ancient 
House, and is come of a noble Race ; there is neither Lord, 
Knight, or Squire but they love his company, and he theirs, as 

Barley and Malt. 353 

long as they do not abuie him. He will abuse no man, but doth 
a great deal of Good, as I can make appear in many kinds of 
ways. And in the first place, few Plowmen can live without 
him, for if it were not for him we could not pay our Landlords 
and our Rents, and then, I pray, what would such Men do for 
Money and Fine Cloaths ? 

Nay, your gay Ladies would care but little for you if you had 
not your rent coming in to mamtain them, and we could not pay 
it but that Sir John Barley-Corn feeds us with Money ; and yet 
would ye seek to take his life ? For shame — let your Malice 
cease, and pardon his life, or else we are all undone. [Enter 
Mr Grain f the Brnver.'] Gendemen, I beseech you hear roe 
speak. My name is Grains^ a Brewer ^ and I do believe few of you 
can live without a cup of good Liquor, no more can I tell how 
to live without the aid of Sir John Barley»Com. As for my own 
part, I maintain a great Charge, and keep a great many men at 
work. I pay Taxes Forty Pounds a Year to Her Majesty, God 
Bless Her — and all this is maintained by the help of Sir John — 
then how can any man for shame take away his Life ? [Enter 
Mrs Full Pot the Hostess.'] Take his Life ! I pray which is 
that who would take his Life ? It is Sir John Barley^Com^ Mrs 
Hostess : they say they would take off his Head. How — take off 
his Head — tlien they shall take off mine too. What im- 
pudent Rogues be they that say so ! I am persuaded they be 
none that loves the poor Commonalty. Surely they be none but 
some miserable Rogues, that make their Bags their God, heapmg 
up their chests of Money to stop the Devil's Mouth when he 
comes to fetch them. Such as these would have nobody live but 
Themselves. Indeed, such as these do not care to take off the 
Head of any Man^ if they could but Inrich themselves by it. 
Away Vagabonds. Away you Blood-sucking Rogues, away you 
Muck Worms of the World, you would have nobody live but 
yourselves. I hope Sir John will stay anoong us when Old Nick 
will fetch such as you away by Ten at a Burthen. Gentlemen, 
I do beseech you not to take any notice of what such Fellows 
say, for they care not what Blood they shed. As for Sir John^ 
I know him to be an honest Man, and never abused any Man, it 


354 J^ Praise of Ale. 

they abuie not him. First, in so doing they abuse themselves, 
for all they say he abuses them. I do protest to you. Gentlemen, 
before you do take his life, you shall take mine. Nay, I beseech 
you, give me leave to speak to you — if you put him to Death all 
England is undone, for there is not such another in the Land 
that can do as he can do, and hath done ; for he can make a 
Coward to fight with a Valiant Soldier. Nay, he can make a 
Cripple to go, he can make a good Soldier feel neither 
Hunger nor Cold. Besides for Valour in himself, there is 
few that can Encounter with him, for he can pull down the 
strongest man in the World, and lay him fast asleep. 
Therefore I beseech you, Gentlemen, let him live, or else we are 
all undone. [Cotfrf.] Have you any more? [Sir John,'^ Call 
Mr Ovargage the Exciseman, [Enter Exciieman,'] Gentlemen, 
all that this woman has said before yon is true. Besides all other 
benefits accruing by Sir John and his worthy Uncle Mr MauU^ 
there are upwards of 1500 idle, broken Fellows of us main- 
tained in England — besides in Ireland and Scotland ; and if they 
suffer, we and our Families must all starve, for we are too lazy 
to work. Therefore, I hope, among the rest you will consider 
our Cases and acquit the Prisoners. 

Court,'] Gendemen of the Jury. You have heard the 
Evidence on both sides, now as to the Validity of it. I find the 
soberest persons are those for the prisoners. 'Tis true. Sir John 
is accused of ingratitude, and that in some measure may be true. 
Yet no person is bound by the Laws to support another in his 
Extravagance, nor to do more than they please. Therefore we 
think, if you believe the credit of Sir JMi Winesses, you must 
acquit the Prisoners, or if you think the other of most credit, 
then you are to find them guilty. But that is left with you, and 
80 go together. 

The jury went out, and after half an hour's suy retum'd into 

ClerhJ] Gentlemen of the Jury, are you agreed in your 
Verdict ? 

Jury,"] Yes. 

Cleri,'] Who shall say for you ? 

Barley and Malt. 355 

Jury."^ Our Forenum Tmoihy Totspci. 

Clerk.'} Sir John Barky-Corn and Matthew Mault^ hold up 
your hands. Look on the Prisoners ; what say you, are they 
guilty of the Crimes for which they stand Indicted, or not 
Guilty ? 

Foreman.'] Not GuUty. 

Clerk, ] And so say you all. 

Jury,'] Yes. 

Clerk.] Prisoners, down on your knees and thank the Court. 
Upon which Sir John Barley-Com and his Uncle, paying their 
Fees, went out of Court, and so to the Tavern, and there com- 
posed the following SONG : — 

The Tune is, Sir John Barley-Com, 

ALL you that be good Fellows^ 

come listen unto me. 
If thai you keep the jile Houee^ 

and merry Company, 

My name u Sir John Barley-Corn, 

which many know fuU well. 
My Brother*! name is Master Mault^ 

as many a one can tell. 

Though Smug the honest Blacksmith 

on me doth sore comphmu 
Eer long I know I shall not miss 

to shoot him through the brmn. 

And honest Will the Weaver, 

for all he is so stout^ 
I know h^ll do his Endeawner 

to have the other Boui. 

And Nick the nimhle Taylor 

will venture his best Shears ^ 
Tiff BaHey-Com and Master Mault 

doth take him by the Ears. 

356 In Praise cf Ale. 

Though Master Wheat the Baker, 
he be my younger brother^ 

He^tt not deny a Bout to try 
with me or any other. 

Ther/i not a Tradesman in this Land 
thai ever yet was Bom^ 

But win not touch J sometimes too much, 
of Sir John Barley-Com. 

Therefore^ all honest Tradesmen^ 
a good word for me give^ 

And pray thai Sir John Barley-Com 
may a/ways with you live. 


From this verdict may be learned the folly of excess, and 
the injustice of charging a cheering beverage with the evil con- 
sequences of a man taking a cup more of it than will do him 

The following extract belongs to the same period. The first 
stanza is from an anonymous song in praise of wine : — 

John Barleycorn's a wholesome blade. 

Whom people tipple daily ; 
And Vulcan's sons and ev'ry trade 

Their homage pay him gaily. 




^* The flowery hop^ whose iendrib cSmhmg rtmnd 

The tall aspiring pole^ bear their Sghi heads 

Aloft^ in pendent chuters^ which in nudfs 

Fermenting tuns infuid^ to mellow age 

Preserves the potent draught.^* 


Hops, says Culpq>per9 are so well known that they need no 
description ; I mean the manured kind, which every good hus- 
band or housewife is acquainted with. 

Descript, — ^The wild hop groweth up as the other doth, ramp- 
ing upon trees or hedges that stand next to them, with rough 
branches and leaves like the former, but it giveth smaller heads, 
and is far less plenty than it, so that there ib scarce a head or 
two seen in a year on divers of this wild kind, wherein consisteth 
the chief di^rence. 

Place, — They delight to grow in low moist grounds, and are 
found in all parts of this land. 

Government and Virtues. — It is under the dominion of Mars. 

This, in physical operations, is to open obstructions of the liver 
and spleen, to cleanse the blood, to loosen the belly, to cleanse the 

Provokes, Diswig, "^' ^"^"^ «"^*» ^^ ^^^^^ "™«- 
TeUow Jaundice, '^^^ ^^^° ^^ ^^ *^P/ W«. «• 

Liver, Stomach, Agues. ^^" ^^^ ^^ ^~ ^ ""^ ,^« .^* 

worketh the same effects. In cleans- 
ing the blood, and all manner of breakings-out of the body ; as also 
all tetters, ringworms, and spreading sores, the morphew and all 
discolouring of the skin. The decoction of the flowers and tops 

358 In Praise of Ale. 

do help to expel poison that any one hath drank. Half a dram 
of the seed in powder taken in drink, killeth worms in the body, 
and expelleth urine. A syrup made of the juice and sugar, 
cureth the yellow jaundice, easeth the headache that comes of 
heat, and temperateth the heat of the liver and stomach, and b 
probably given in long and hot agues that rise in choler and 
blood. Both the wild and the manured are of one property, and 
are alike efiectual in all the aforesaid diseases. 

By all these testimonies beer appears to be better than ale. 

Mars owns the plant, and then Dr Reason will tell you how 
it performs these actions. 

Chambers in his great work takes a similar view as to the 
medical properties of hops as does the old herbalist quoted above. 

'' In the springtime," says Chambers, ^^ when the bud is yet 
tender, the tops of the plants being cut off and boiled, are eat like 
asparagus, and found very wholesome and effectual to loosen the 
body; the heads and tendrils are good to purify the blood in 
scurvy and most cutaneous diseases ; decoctions of the flowers and 
syrups thereof, are of use against the pestilential fevers; julips and 
apozems are also prepared with hops for hypochondriacal and 
hysterical affections. A pillow stuffed with hops, and laid under 
the head, is said to procure sleep in fevers attended with de- 

Addington, Lord Sidmouth, Pitt's rival and Premier of 
England, the son of an eminent doctor, prescribed a pillow 
stuffed with hops for the use of George III., and this sudorific 
became a £uhionable remedy for headache and nervous complaints, 
and this remedy for sleeplessness was at one time very fashionable. 
A similar prescription was adopted in the case of H.R.H. the 
Prince of Wales during his dangerous illness, and in each case 
the cure was ascribed to the Humuhis lupulu. 

A Belgian journal devoted to the mterests of the hop trade, says 
that in that country the herb is not only used in brewing, but its 
tender tops serve the Belgians for asparagus, an infusion of iu flower 
yields a well-known yellow dye for wool, its stalks yield a flax 
that in Sweden is woven into cloth, and a bag of hops is often 
used in medicine to allay inflammation. The strong bitter odour 

Hops. 359 

of the ripeoed bloom has a straDgely exhilarating eflect in cases 
of despondency; and the dried hop itself has curious sleep- 
beguiling properties, occasionally taken advantage of in critical 
cases. But die principal use of hops is in the brewery, for the 
preservation of malt liquors, which, by the super-addition of 
balsamic aperient and diuretic bitter, become less viscid, less apt to 
turn sour, more detergent, more disposed to pass off by urine, and 
in general, more salubrious. They are said to contain an agree- 
able odorous principle, which promotes vinous fermentation 
When slightly boiled or infused in warm water, they increase 
its spirituosity. The << Old Ale Knights of England," as 
Camden calls the sturdy yeomen of the fifteenth century, were 
ignorant of the ale to which hops, in after years, gave both 
flavour and preservation. 

Baker, in his ^Chronicles,** gave currency to the following 
doggrel: — 

*' Turkeys, Carp, Hops, Piccarel, and Beer, 
Came into England all in one year/' 

This statement was incorrect, however ; beer was known and 
appreciated in this country from time immemorial, as has been 
shown ; whereas the time referred to by Baker was during the 
early part of the reign of Henry VIII. At the time the 
Promptorium was compiled in 1440, the use of hop was not 
unknown. A writer in Notes and Quenet states that Ale, the 
Saxon drink, was a thick, sweet, unbofped Bquor^ and as such 
distinguished from the more modem hopped beer. Professor 
Johnston quotes from Gerrard as follows: — ^^The manifold 
virtues in hopes do manifestly argue the wholesomeness of beer 
above ale;'' and the Professor conjectures that the origin of this 
distinction may be due to the use of the word beer in the Low 
Countries from whence hops were introduced. It would appear, 
however, that beer was known in this country, and specified as 
such, before the use of hops, which were imported in 1524, 
though other bitters had supplied their place. The prejudices 
that existed against the favourite bitter were very great. 

According to the Harleian MSS., we find that two centuries 

360 In Praise of Ale, 

ago an aie-man brought an action and recovered damages against 
his brewer, for spoiling his ale by putting in ^^ a certain weed called 
a hoppe.* Old Fuller, too, in his " Worthies," mentions a petition 
to Parliament in the reign of Henry VL, against the wicked weed 
called hops. They were not so bitter in themselves as others 
have been against them, and accusing hops as a noxious preservative 
of beer but destructive to those who drank it Bartholimis, in his 
« Medicina Danonini," inveighs against the use of hops in beer as 
pernicious and malignant, and recommends that shavings of deal 
boards be substituted. These, he afHrmed, gave a grateful odour to 
the drink. 

Fuller discredits the idea that hops were known- in Henry VI. 's 
time, and concurs in the popular belief that they were introduced 
into this country from Artois in 1 524. In consequence of the 
opposition of the faculty to this << wicked weed," a law was 
passed in 1 528 prohibiting iu use under severe penalties. Fuller 
could not have been correct, for the authority I have already quoted, 
states that he has seen a lease dated 1 465, containing a clause pro- 
hibiting the tenant from burning the hoppolis (hope tymbre). From 
this it would appear that hops were not only known but cultivated 
at that early date, the probability being that the plant is indigenous 
to this country, and in common with ale-hoof or ground ivy, has 
been used from very ancient times as a bitter condiment for beer, 
one important fact being that the English hope has from a remote 
period been considered superior to those grown in any other 
country. Henry VIII. forbade the use either of hops or sulphur 
in ale, but the edict was a short-lived one, for in the succeeding 
reign we find that both the royal and popular tastes had altered. 
During the last year of Edward VI. 's reign, privileges were 
granted to proprietors of hop grounds. The plant is mentioned 
in the Statute Book, 1528, Henry VIII.; in 1552, 5 and 6 
Edward VI., cap. 5 ; in James I., 1603, cap. 18. Tusser, who 
flourished ^m 1 523 to 1 580, celebrated the praise of what, even 
at the date of his writing, was known as the " wicked weed." 
William King, in his ** Art of Cookery," letter IV., embodies this 
sentiment, ^ Neither can a poet put hops in an Englishman's drink 
before heresy came in." 

Hops. 361 

*< The hop for his profit I thus do exalt. 
It strengtheneth drink and it flavoureth malt. 
And being well brewed, long kept it will last, 
And drawing abide, if ye draw not too fast." 

In the reign of James I. the plant was not sufficiently cultivated 
to supply the home demand, and in 1608 a statute was enacted 
against the importation of foreign hops. Whatever difficulties 
may have attended the first introduction of the fragrant bitter mto 
universal use in Breweries, it is certain that it will never be dis- 
placed in the concoction of the national drink, notwithstanding the 
laudations that are sounded in favour of '^ Quassia and Hop 
substitutes." Bate Dudley, in his opperetta of ** The Woodman," 
puts this sentiment neatly: — 

^ Hail to the vine of Briton's vale, 
Whose stores refine her nut-brown ale. 

Till that like nectar flows. 
Whose virtues to this Isle confin'd. 
Was sent to cheer a Briton's mind, 
Too generous for her foes." 

There is a little poetic license taken (and granted) in the fourth 
line of the above stanza. The next stanzas are from Dr. Bush- 
nan's ^ Burton and its Bitter Beer," but I cannot tell whether 
it is original or *< adapted" by the author: — 

Gathering the Hop. 

When the plants are laden with beautiful bloom. 
And the air breathes around us its rich perfume; 
And the village reapers exultingly come 
To gather the fruits of their harvest home. 
More graceful the bop than the far-&m'd vine. 
More tenderly, too, doth its tendrils twine; 
And there, like the spirit of all sweet flowers. 
The peasant girl glides through its fairy bowers. 

362 In Praise of Ale. 

And far and near, 

With accent clear, 
The hop-picker's song salutes the glad ear; 

The old and the young 

Unite in the throng. 
And echo re-echoes their jocund song. 
The hop-picking time is a time of glee. 
So merrily, merrily, now sing we; 
For the bloom of the hop is the secret spell 
Of the bright pale ale we love so well; 
So gather it quickly, with tender care. 
And off to the waggons the treasvire bear. 

The total area of land under hop-cultivation throughout the 
world is estimated at about 30x^000 acres, of which nearly a 
fourth are in Bavaria. 




There lived in Gotbtck dayt^ at legends tett^ 
A thepberd'iwainf a man of low degree; 
Wboee eiret perchance in fairyland might dwells 
Sicilian groves ^ or Vales of Arcady ; 
But he I ween^ was of the north countree; 
A nation famed for song^ and beaut fs charms : 
Zealous yet modest ; innocent though free ; 
Patient of toil; serene amidst alarms ; 
Inflexible infaiib^ invincible in arms. 

Jas. Beattie, The Mmstrel. 

The Scotch, as I have pointed out in an earlier part of this work, 
were the earliest Beer-drinkers and ergo Brewers, and from them 
the Sassenachs learned to love the liquor. The feasts of Moira 
were recorded by Ossian as the strength of the shell went round. 
In a land where ploughmen are poets, and shepherds were sweet 
minstrels, and the most unlettered hind had the spirit of poesy, it 
is not to be wondered at that the praise of ale has been duly 
honoured in song and story. Poetry is indigenous to the country, 
foeta nascitur non Jit^ and the ploughboy alternately whistles the 
airs and sings the words of the plaintive love-songs, or the more 
stirring lays of feasting and fighting, as he ploughs the breezy 
upland slopes where in due time the yellow com ripens in the long 
golden rigs, and the mountain tops glow afar off with their ever 
changing tints and hues. 

'' The blue mountains glow in the sun's golden light." 

And the 

*< Lasses are lilting before the break of day." 

364 In Praise of Ale. 

The Scotch, however, though a poetical, hare ever been a 
practical nation, and the art of brewing is maintained m all its 
native supremacy, and a gbss of prime Edinbro' ale there is 
a thing to remember, whether it be brewed by Younger or 
Disher. These drinks are known and properly appreciated by 
Southerners as by Hielandman, and like the Scot abroad, they 
do not ''go bock again," when once they have crossed the Border. 
Alloa, again, must be the very Burton of the north, considering 
that it maintains seven breweries, where, in common with all 
the others in the country, the ''National Guardian" keeps 
constant watch and ward over the Brewer's interests. 
• All the songs breathe a kindly social spirit. Royalty must 
of course come first, m the person of Old King Cole, who 
flourished in the fifth century. He ruled over Coila or Ayr- 
shire, and was the father of Fin M'Coul the giant. The 
history of his domestic life is founded on facu which appear 
in Scottish history ; the particular record now given was taken 
from Herd's Archives: — 

The Life and Death of Old Kino Cole. 
The last new Version. 

Old King Cole was a merry old soul. 

And a merry old soul was he; 
He caird for his pipe, he call'd for his glass. 

And he call'd for his fiddlers three. 
There was Paganini and Spagnioletti, 

And to make up the three, Mori; 
For King Cole he was fond of a tri 

O fond of a trio was he. 

For old King Cole, &c. 

Old King Cole kept court at the "Hole 

O' the wall" in Chancery — 
— Lane, near the street, which is termM "Fleet," 

(A queer name for Chanceree,) 

Scotch Ale Songs. 365 

So his subjects to cloak, from the very provok — 

— iDg bills of an attomee. 
Old King Cole tura'd his eyes to Coke, 

And a very good lawyer was he. 
For old King Cole, &c 

Old King Cole, though a noerry old soul, 

Not read nor write could he ; 
For to read and write, 'twere useless quite. 

When he kept a secretaree. 
So his mark for ^ Rex " was a single << X " 

And his drink was ditto double; 
For he scom'd the fetters of four and twenty letters, 

And it say'd him a vast deal of trouble. 
For old King Cole, &c. 

Old King Cole, was a musical soul, 

So he calPd for his fiddlers three; 
And he serr'd 'em out a dozen pounds of best German resin, 

And they play'd him a symphony. 
Spagnioletti and Mori, they played an oratori. 

While the great Paganini 
Play'd ^ God save the King " on a single string, 

And he went twelve octaves high. 

For old Eking Cole, 6cc. 

Old King Cole lov'd smoking to his soul. 

And a pipe, hard, clean, and dry; 
And Virgmny and C'naster from his baccy-box went faster, 

Than the «* Dart," or the " Brighton Fly." 
With his fiddlers three, and his secretaree, 

He'd kick up such a furious fume. 
You'd think all the gas of London in a mass, 

Had met in his little back-room. 

For old Eking Cole, &c. 

366 In Praise of Ale. 

Old KjDg Cole was a mellow old soul, 

And he lov'd for to lave his clay. 
But not with water, for he had m that quarter. 

An hydrophobia. 
So he always ordered hemp for those that join'd a temp- 

— erance society ; 
And he swore a drop too much, should always finish such 

As refuse for to wet t'other eye. 

For old King Cole, &c. 

On old King Cole's left cheek was a mole, 

So he call'd for his secretaree; 
And he bade him look in a fortune-telling book. 

And read him his destiny. 
And the secretary said, when his ^te he had read, 

And cast his nativity: 
A mole on the face, boded something might take place. 

But not what that something might be. 
For old King Cole, &c. 

Old King Cole, he scratched his pole, 

And resigned to his fate was he ; 
And he said it is our will, that our pipe and glass you fiW, 

And call for our fiddlers three. 
So Paganini took Viotti in by, 

And his concerto play'd he ; 
But at page forty-four King Cole began to snore. 

So they parted company. 

For old King Cole, &c. 

Old King Cole drank so much alcohol, 

That he reek'd like the worm of a still ; 

And while lighting his pipe, he set himself alight, 
And he blew up like a gunpowder mill. 

Scotch Ale Songs. 367 

And these are the whole of the records of King Cole, 

From the Cotton Library, 
If you like you can see 'em at the British Museum, 

In Russell Street, Bloomsbury. 

For old King Cole, &c. 

His subjects duly followed the example of their King: — 

We're a Noddin. 

Music — at Wybrow's, 

We*re a' noddin, nid, nid, noddin, 
We're a' noddin, at our house at hame. 

Gude e'en to you, Kimmer, and how do ye do ? 
Hiccup— quo' Kimmer, the better that I'm fbu, 
We're a' noddin, &c. 

Kate tits i' the neulc, sippin' hen broo, 
Deil take Kate, and she be na noddin too ! 
We're a' noddin, &c. 

How's a' wi' you, Kimmer, and how do ye fare ? 
A pint o' the best o't, and twa pints mair. 
We're a noddin, &c. 

How's a' wi' you, Kimmer, and how do ye thrive ? 
How mony bairns hae ye .'—quo' Kimmer, I hae five. 
We're a' noddin, &c. 

Are they a' Johnny's ? — Eh ! atweel na ; 
Twa o' them were gotten when Johnny was awa'. 
We're a' noddin. &c. 

Cats like milk weel, and dogs like broo. 
Lads like lasses weel, and lasses lads too. 
We're a' noddin, &c. 

368 In Praise of AU. 

Kail-Brose o' aulo Scotland. 

WhcD our ancient forefathers agreed wi' the laird. 
For a piece o' gude ground to be a kail-yaird, 
It was to the brose that they paid their regard. 
Oy the kail-broae o' auld Scotland, 
And Oy the Scottish kail-brose. 

When Fergus, the first of our lungs, I suppose, 
At the head of his nobles had vanquished our foes. 
Just before they began, they'd been feasting on brose. 
O, the kail-brose, &c. 

Our sodgers were dress'd in their kilts and short hose, 
Wi' their bonnets and belts, which their dress did compose. 
And a bag of oatmeal on their backs to be brose. 
O, the kail-brose, &c. 

At our annual election for bailies or mayor, 
Nae kickshaws o' puddins or tarts were seen there ; 
But a cog o' gude brose was the favourite fare. 
O, the kail-brose, &c. 

But now since the thistle is join'd to the rose. 
And the English nae langer are counted our foes. 
We've lost a good deal o' our relish for brose. 
O, the kail-brose, &c. 

Yet each true-hearted Scotsman, by nature jocose. 
Likes always to feast on a cog o' gude brose ; 
And thanks be to heav'n, we've plenty o' those. 
O, the kail-broee, &c. 

Cauld Kail in Aberdeen. 

There's cauld kail in Aberdeen, 

And castocks in Stra'bogie ; 
Gin I hae but a bonny lass, 

Ye're welcome to your cogie, 

Scotch Ale Songs. 369 

And ye may dt up a' the night, 
And drink till it be braid day-light : 
Gae me a lass that's clean and tight. 
To dance the reel o' Bogie. 

In cotillons the French excel; 

John Boll in country dances; 
The Spaniards dance fandangoes well. 

Mynheer an Al'mande prances; 
In foursome reels the Scots delight. 
At threesome they dance wondrous light. 
But twasome ding a' out o' sight, 

Danc'd to the reel o' Bogie. 

Come lads, and view your partners well, 

Wale each a bijrthesome rogie ; 
ril talc this lassie to mysel. 

She looks sae keen and vogie : 
Now, piper lad, bang up the spring, 
The country fashion is the thing, 
To prie their mou's ere we begin 

To dance the reel o' Bogie. 

Now ilka lad has got his lass, 

Save yon auld doited fogie, 
And ta*en a fling upon the grass, 

As they do in Stra'bogie : 
But a' the lasses look sae fain, 
We canna think oursels to hain, 
For they maun hae their come-again 

To dance the reel o' Bogie. 

Now a' the lads hae done their best, 

Like true men 0' Stra'bogie ; 
Well stop a while and uk a rest. 

And tipple out a cogte. 

2 A 

370 t^ Praise of Ale. 

Come DOW, my lads, and tak your glass. 
And try each other to surpass, 
In wishing health to every lass, 
To dance the reel o' Bogie. 

The Three Gir'd Cog. 
-^ir— ••There's Cauld KaU in Aberdeen." 

There's cauld kail in Aberdeen, 

And castocks m Stra'bogie, 

And ilka lad maun hae his lass. 

But I maun hae my cogie. 

For I maun hae my cogie, sirs, 

I canna want my cogie ; 
I wadna gi'e my three gir'd cog 
For a' the \vires in Bogie. 

Johnny Smith has got a wife 

Wha scrimps him o' his cogie ; 
But were she mine, upon my life 
I'd dook her in a bogie. 

For I maun hae my cogie, sirs, 

I canna want my cogie, 
I wadna gi'e my three gir'd cog, 
For a' the wives in Bogie. 

Twa three toddlin' vreans they hae, 

The pride o' a Stra'bogie ; 
Whene'er the totums cry for meat, 
She curses aye his cogie. 

Crying " Wae betide the three gir'd cog ! 

Oh, wae betide the cogie ! 
It does mair skaith than a' the ills 
That happen in Stra'bogie." 

Scotch Ale Songs. 371 

She fand him ance at Willie Sharpe's, 

And what the maist did laugh at, 
She brak the Incker, spilt the drink, 
And tight'ly gouflPM his haflet. 

Crying " Wae betide the three gir'd cog ! 

Ohy wae betide the cogie! 
It does mair skaith than a' the ills 
That happen in Stra'bogie." 

Yet here's to ilka honest soul 

Wha'U drink wi' me a cogie, 

And for ilk silly whinging fool. 

We'll dook him in the bogie. 

For I maun hae my cogie, sirs, 

I canna want my cogie, 
I wadna gi'e my three gir'd cog. 
For a' the wives in Bogie. 

This song was popular in Aberdeenshire in the middle of the 
eighteenth century. There are, at least, half-a-dozen Scottish 
songs parodies upon, or emendations of, this. One, by Alex, 
ander, fourth Duke of Gordon, appears among the miscellaneous 
songs in this volume, and a second was printed in Herd's collec- 

The Old Man's Consolation. 


Come carls a' of fumblers' ha' 

And I will tell you of our fate, 
Since we have married wives that's braw. 

And canna please them when 'tis late: 
A pint well tak our hearts to cheer; 

What £iults we have our wives can tell; 
Gar bring us in baith ale and beer. 

The auldest bairn we hae's ourseU. 

a A 2 

372 In Praise of Ale. 


Christening of weans we are rid of. 

The parish priest 'tis he can tell. 
We aw him naught but a grey groat. 

The otilering for the house we dwell. 
Our bairn's tocher is a' paid. 

We're masters of the gear our seP ; 
Let either weal or wae betide. 

Here's a health to a' the wires that's yell. 


Our neebor's auld son and the lass. 

Into the bam amang the strae. 
He grips her in the dark be guess, 

And after that comes muckle wae. 
Repentance ay comes after him, 

It costs the carl both com and hay ; 
We're quat of that with little din. 

Sic crosses haunt ne'er you nor I. 


Now merry, merry may we be. 

When we think on our neebor Robie, 
The way the carl does, we see, 

Wi' his auld son and his daughter Maggie ; 
Boots he maun hae, pistols, why not. 

The hussy maun hae corkit shoon : 
We are nae sae ; gar fill the pot. 

We'll drink to a' the hours at e'en. 


Here's a health to John Mackay well drink. 
To Hughie, Andrew, Rab, and Tam ; 

We'll sit and drinks we'll nod and wink. 
It is o'er soon for us to gang. 

Scotch Ale Songs. 373 

Foul h' the cock, he's ipilt the pby. 

And I do trow he's but a fool, 
We'll sit the while, 'tis king to day. 

For a' they rave at YooL 

Smce we have met, we'll merry be» 

The foremost hame shall bear the mell ; 
ril set me down, lest I be free. 

For fear that I shoa'd bear mysel. 
And I, quoth Rab, and down sat he, 

The gear shall never me outride. 
But we'll take a soup of the barley-bree, 

And drink to our yill beside. 

Up in the Morning Eaiily. 
(From the collection of Manuscript Songs by Peter Buchan.) 

Up in the morning, up in the morning. 

Up in the morning early; 
Frae night till mora our squires they sat, 

An' drank the juice o' the baHey. 
Some they spent but ae hauf-crown. 

And some six crowns sae rarely; 
In the alewife's pouch the siller did clink. 

She got in the noofning early. 

Up in the morning early, &c. 

I hae got fou, Beldoraie cried; 

Wardess replied, I am fbu tee; 
Then said Darlicha, Beware o' a £1', 

An' baud by the wa' as I dee. 

Up in the nx>rning eariy, &c. 

3 74 J^ Praise cf Ale. 

Be wyllie, mj boysy be wise, mj boys, 
Lat sorrow gae through your thinking; 

Gin ye haud on as ye hae begun. 
Your pouches will leave afF clinking. 
Up in the morning early, &c. 

We will gae hame, said Lord Aboyne; 

Na, sit awhile, quo' Towie; 
Oh, never a foot, said Lochnievar, 

As lang's there's beer in the bowie. 
Up in the morning early, &c. 

There they sat the lee-lang night. 
Nor stirr'd till the sun shone early ; 

Then made an end as they began. 
And gaed hame in the morning early. 
Up in the morning early, &c. 

The << boon companions " named in this song were all Aberdeen- 
shire gentlemen. The Lord Aboyne was afterwards Duke of 
Gordon, and author of one of the versions of the song of ** Cauld 
Kail in Aberdeen," 

AuLD Lang Syne. 

This is so well known that it is scarcely necessary to reprint it. 
No Scottish gathering could close amicably without its being sung 
in its characteristic manner. The << richt gude-willie waught " in 
the invitation to the friend to stand his pint-stoup first, indicates 
that the song is essentially a beer song. 

The words are generally attributed to Bums, but he himself 
did not claim the credit of it, but stated that he took it down from 

Scotch Ale Songs. 375 

an old mao*8 nngiDg. The air is said to have belonged to the 
Roman Catholic Church. 

Should auld acquaintance be forgot. 

And never brought to min' ? 
Should auld acquainunce be forgot 
And the days of auld lang syne. 
For auld lang syne, my dear. 

For auld lang syne. 
We'll tak a cup of kindness yet 
For auld lang syne. 

We twa hae ran about the braes, 

And pou'd the gowans fine ; 
But we've wander'd mony a weary fit 

Sm* auld lang syne. 
For auld, &c. 

We twa hae paidl'd in the burn 

Frae morning sun till dine, 
But seas between us braid hae roar'd 

Sin' auld lang syne. 
For auld, &c. 

And there's a hand, my trasty frien', 

And gie's a hand o' thine, 
And we'll tak a richt gude-willie waught 

For auld lang syne. 
For auld, 6cc. 

And surely ye'll be your pint-stoup, 

And surely I'll be mine ; 
And we'll tak a cup of kindness yet, 

For auld laug syne. 
For auld, &c. 

376 In Praise of Ale. 

GuDEwiFE, Count the Lawin. 

Robert Burns. 

Gane is the day, and mirk's the night. 
But well ne'er stray for faot o' light ; 
For ale and brandjr's stars and moon. 
And Unde-red wine's the risbg sun. 

Then, godewife, count the lawin, 

The lawin, the lawin. 

Then, gudewife, count the lawin, 
And bring a coggie mair. 

There's wealth and ease for gentlemen, 
And semple folk maun fecht and fen', 
But here we're a' in ae accord. 
For ilka man that's drunk's a lord. 
Then, gudewife, &c. 

My coggie b a haly pool. 
That heals the wounds o' care and dool ; 
And pleasure is a wanton trout. 
An ye drink but deep, ye'Il find him out 
Then, gudewife, 6cc. 

A C0GI£ O' YlLL. 

Andrew Sheriffs, 1787. 


^^— « A Cogie o' Yill.' 

A cogie o' yill 
And a pickle aitmeal. 
And a dainty wee drappie o* whisky, 

Scotch Ale Songs. 377 

Was our forefathers' dose 
For to sweep down their brose. 
And keep them a^re cheery and frisky. 

Then hey for the whisky, and hey for the meal. 
And hey for the cogie, and hey for the yill ; 
Gm ye steer a' thegither, they'll do unco wed 
To keep a chiel cheery and brisk aye. 

When I see our Scots lads, 

Wi' their kilts and cocauds. 
They sae often hae lounder'd our foes, man ; 

I think to mysel' 

On the meal and the yill. 
And the fruits o' our Scottish kail-brose, man. 
Then hey, &c. 

When our brave highland blades 

Wi' their claymores and plaids. 
In the field drive like sheep a' our foes, man ; 

Their courage and power 

Spring firae this to be sure, 
They're the noble effects o' the brose, man. 
Then hey, &c. 

But your spindle shank'd sparks, 

Wha sae ill fill their sarks, 
Your pale-fisaged milk-sops and beaux, roan ; 

I think when I see them, 

'Twere kindness to gie them 
A cogie o' yill or o' brose, man. 
Then hey, &c. 

What John Bull despises, 

Our better sense prizes, 
He denies eadn* blanter ava, man ; 

But by eadn' o' blanter, 

His mare's grown, I'll warrant her, 
The manliest brute o' the twa, man. 
Then hey, &c. 

378 In Praise of Ale. 

Sab Will We Yet. 

From ^Whisde Binkie," 1838. Published anonymously, but 

understood to be by Robert Nichol. 

Come sit down, my cronies, and gie us your crack, 
Let the win' tak' the cares 0' this world on its back ; 
The langer we sit here and drink^ the merrier will we get — 
We've ajre been provided for, and sae will we 3ret. 

Then bring us a tankard o' nappy gude ale, 

To cheer up our hearts, and enliven our tale ; 

Till the house be rinnin' roun' about, it's time enough to flit — 

We've aye been provided for, and sae will we yet. 

May the taxes come ofiP, that the drink may be cheap, 
And the yill be as plentiful as gin it were a spate ; 
May the enemies o' liberty ere lang get a kick — 
They've ajre gott'n 't hitherto, and sae shall they yet 

Now, God bless the Queen, an' aye prosper her days. 
For I'm sure that Her Majesty has baith meat and claes ; 
And lang on the throne o' her faithers may she sit — 
They've aye been provided for, and sae will they yet. 

Then push round the jorum, and tak afT your dram. 
An' laugh and be thankfu' as lang as ye can ; 
For seed-time and harvest ye ever shall get. 
When ye fell ye aye got up again, and sae will ye yet 

Sanct Mungo. 

Alexander Rodger. 

From ** Whisde Binkie." Mungo is the patron saint of the 
Glasgow Cathedral. The Molendinar Bum, alluded to in the 
third line, is the Glasgow Lethe that separates the two great 

Scotch Ale Songs. 379 

repositories of mortality — the churchyard of the Cathedral and 
the Necropolis. 

Sanct Mungo wals ane famous sanct, 

And ane cantye carle wals hee. 
He drank o' ye Molendinar Bume, 

Quhan bettere hee culdna prie. 

Yit quhan he culd gette strongere cheere. 

He neuer wals wattere drye. 
But dranke o' ye streame o* ye wimpland worme. 

And loot ye bume rynne bye. 

Sanct Mungo wals ane merrye sanct, 

And merryljre hee sang ; 
Quhanever hee liltit uppe his sprynge. 

Ye very Firre Park rang. 

But thock he weele culd lilt and synge. 

And mak sweet melodye, 
He chaunttt aye ye bauldest straynes 

Quhan prymed wi' barlye-bree. 

Sana Mungo was ane godlye sanct, 

Far-&roed for godlye deedis. 
And grete delyte he dayle took 

Inn count3rnge owre hys beadis. 

Yit I, Sanct Mungo's youngeste sonne, 

Can count als welle als hee ; 
Butte ye beadis quhilk I like best to count, 

Are ye beadis o' barlye-bree. 

Sanct Mungo wab ane jolly sanct : — 

Sa weele hee lykit gude yil, 
Thatte quhyles hee naynede hys quhyte besture, 

Wi' dnbblands o' ye still. 

380 In Praise of Ale. 

Butte 1» hys maist unwordye soone^ 
Have gane als farre as hee, 

For ance I tynde my garmente skirds, 
Throuch lufe o* barlye-bree. 

Daft Days. 

By Hew Ainslie. First published in ** Whistle Binkie/* First 

Series, 1838. 

'* The midnight hour is clinking, lads, 
An' the douce an' the honest are winking, lads, 

Sae I tell ye again, 

Be 't weel or ill u'en, 
It's time ye were quatting your drinking, lads." 

** Gae ben an' mind your gantry, Kate, 
Gie's mair o' your beer, an' less bantry, Kate, 

For we vow whar we sit. 

That afore we shall flit. 
We'll be better acquent wi' your pantry, Kate. 

'* The daft days are but beginning, Kate, 
An' we've sworn, (wad ye hae us be sinning, Kate?) 

By our faith an' our houp, 

We shall stick by the stoup, 
As lang as a barrel keeps rinning, Kate. 

<* Through spring an' through simmer we moil it, Kate, 
Through hay an' through harvest we toil it, Kate; 

Sae ye ken, when the wheel 

Is beginning to squeel. 
It's time for to grease and to oil it, Kate. 

** Then score us anither drappy, Kate, 
An' gie us a cake to our cappy, Kate ; 
For, by spigot an' pin, 
It were mair than a sin 
To flit when we're sitting sae happy, Kate. 


Scotch Ale Songs. 381 

Scotia's Sons hae aye Been Free* 

By M'Phaily io Chambers' Scot Songs. 

Blythe, blythe^ around the nappie^ 

Let us join in social glee^ 
While we're here we'll hae a drappie, 
Scotia's sons hae vye been free. 
Our auld forbears, when ower their yill, 

And cande bickers round did ca', 
Forsooth 1 they cried, anither gill ! 
For sweirt we are to gang awa. 
Blythe, blythe, &c. 

Some hearty cock would then hae sung 

An old Scotch sonnet aff wi' glee, 
Syne pledged his cogue : the chorus rung 

Attld Scotia and her sons are free. 
Blythe, blythe, &c. 

Thus crack, and jokes, and sangs gaed roun\ 
Till mom the screens o' light did draw; 

Yet, dreich to rise, the carles roun'. 
Cried, Deoch an dhoras, then awa ! 
Blythe, blythe, &c. 

The landlord then the nappie brings. 

And toasts, ** Fu' happy a' may be," 
Syne tooms the cogue; the chorus rings 

Auld Scotia's sons shall aye be free. 
Blythe, blythe, &c 

Then like our dads 0' auld lang syne, 

Let social glee unite us a'. 
Aye blythe to meet, our mous to weet. 

But aye as sweirt to gang awa 1 
Blythe, blythe, &c. 

382 In Praise of Ale. 

A Tavern Scene. 

Now but and bea the change-house fills 

Wi' yill-caup commeDtators — 
Here's crying out for cakes and gills. 

And there the pint-stoup clatters. 
While thick and thrang, and loud and lang — 

Wi' logic and wi' scripture, 
They raise a din that in the end 

Is like to breed a rupture 

O' wrath that day. {Bums' " Holy Fairy) 

And thou, great god of aqua-vitae ! 
Wha sways the empire of this city, 
(When fou we're sometimes capemoity) 

Be thou prepared, 
To save us frae that black banditti 

The City Guard. 

(Fergusson's ''Daft Days:') 

The following appeared in the ** Gentleman's Magazine " for 


An ale house is called a change, and the person who keeps it a 
gentleman ; nor is it uncommon to see a lord dismount from his 
horse, and, taking one of these gentlemen in his arms, make him 
as many compliments as if he were a brother peer, and the reason 
is that the alehouse-keeper is of as good a femily as any in Scot- 
land, and perhaps has taken his degree as master of arts at the 

ToDLEN But, and Todlen Ben. 
Ramsay*! Tea Tailt Miscellany, 

When I hae a saxpence under my thumb. 

Then I get credit in ilka toon ; 

But ay when I'm poor, they bid me gang by ; 

O ! poverty parts good company. 

Todlen hame, todlen hame, 
Couldna my love come todlen hame. 

Scotch Ale Songs. 383 

Fair-&* the gudewife, and send her good sale, 

She gi'es us white bannocks to drink her ale. 

Syne if that her dppeny chance to be sma^ 

We'll tak* a good scoot o't, and ca't awa. 
Todlen hame, todlen hame. 
As round as a neep comes todlen hame. 

My kimmer and I lay down to sleep. 

And twa pint-stoups at our bed's feet ; 

And aye when we waken'd, we drank them dry — 

What think ye of my wee kimmer and I. 
Todlen but, and todlen ben, 
Sae round as my love comes todlen hame. 

Leeze me on liquor, my todlen dou, 

Ye're ay sae gude humour'd when weeting your mou ; 

When sober sae sour, ye'll fight wi' a flee. 

That 'tis a blythe nght to the bairns and me. 
When todlen hame, todlen hame, 
When round as a neep ye come todlen hame. 

The Social Cup. 

By Charles Gray. 

The gloaming saw us a' sit down, 

And mickle mirth has been our fa'; 
But ca' the other toast aroun'. 
Till chanticleer begins to craw. 

Blythe, blythe, and merry are we, 

Blythe are we, ane an a' ; 
Aften hae we canty been, 
But sic a nicht we never saw. 

The auld kirk bell has chappit twal' ; 

Wha cares though she had chappit twa. 
We're licht o' heart, and winna part. 

Though time and tide should rin awa« 
Blythe, blythe, kc. 

384 In Praise of Ale, 

Tut! never speir how wears the moon. 

The moon's still blinkin' i' the sky ; 
And gif like her we fill our horn, 

I dinna doubt we'll drink it dry. 

Blythe, blythe, &c., 

Should we gang by the Auld-klrk-hatch,* 
Or round the haunted humlock knowe, 

Auld Clootie there some chield might catch, 
Or fleg us wi* a worricow ! 

Blythe, blythe, &c. 

Then fill us up a social cup, 

And never mind the dapple dawn ; 
Just sit awhile, the sun may smile, 

And light us a' across the lawn. 

When brewing was done by women (Ale Wives), who after- 
wards retailed their liquor, they occasionally — as many other 
publicans have done — drank the profits. Here is a sad picture 
of a dissipated old lady, taken from Peter Buchan's collection : — 

The Ale Wife and her Barreu 

My mind is vex'd and sair perplex'd, 

I'll tell you all that grieves me, 
A drunken wife I hae at hame. 
Her noisome din aye deaves me. 

The ale-wife, the drunken wife, 
The ale wife, she grieves me ; 
My wifie and her barrellie, 
They'll ruin me and deave me. 

She takes her barrel on her back, 

Her pint-stoup in her hand, 
And she is to the market gane. 

For to set up a stand. 
The ale-wife, &c. 

* A haunted spot near Anttnither, in Fife, the residence of the author. 

Scotch Ale Songs. 385 

And whan she does come hame again. 
She wides through girae and corn. 

Says, I maun hae anither pint, 
Though I should beg the morn. 
The ale-wife, &c* 

She sets her banel on the ground 

And travels but and ben ; 
1 canna get my wifie keepit 

Out amo' the men. 
The ale-wife, flee 

We might well pity the hud3and of such a wee wifie ; Roy's 
wife was nothing to her: — 

Roy's wife of Ardivalloch, Roy's wife of Ardi?alloch, 

And while she is wife to me, 

Is life worth living, Mr Malloch ? 

A learned pundit has declared with great truth that one never — 
well hardly ever — meets with a celebrated brewery without finding 
traces of an abbey or monastery hard by. The monks knew 
from reason and experience where the best water was to be 
obtained, and hence pitched their camp on the spot where they 
could brew the best beer. The Song of the Abbey Brewery 
has special reference to that of Messrs W. Younger flc Co., 
who keep up the monkish custom of brewing jolly good ale 
and old. 

Thb Song of thb Abbsy Bbewbby. 

By A. B. 

Tune^Tht Whale. 

It was in seventeen hundred and forty-nine. 

What matters the month or day. 
That the Abbey Brewery was launched afloat, 

And merrily steered away. Brave boys ! 

With a fal la U. flee. 

? B 

386 In Praise of Ale. 

The smoke of the battle of Prestonpans 

Had DOt long cleared away. 
When William the first took to the work 

Of moisteniDg Scotchmen's clay. Brave boys ! 

Had Charlie just delayed a bit. 

Till that auspicious day» 
On riding into Holj^rood, 

When Cope ran the other way. Brave boys! 

Oh what a rare right royal draught. 

He might have qua£fed ofiP then. 
By sending across the palace yard. 

For a horn often times ten.* Brave boys! 

Then Willie brewed a peck o' maut. 

And didn't he brew it well ? 
The browst, has it not stood the test? 

The wide, wide world can tell. Brave boys ! 

From Shetland's bleak and rugged shore, 

To the Borders of the land. 
Across the line — from Yankee States — 

To eastern Samarcand. Brave boys ! 

Our good old ship has well-nigh sailed 

A hundred and fifty years, 
And for her future piloting, 

There never need be fears. Brave boys ! 

On the quarter deck, and at the helm, 

At the compass, on the look-out. 
There have always been, and there are now. 

Men who know what they're about Brave boys ! 

* 100/ Ale. 

Scotch Ale Songs. 387 

Then success to the Brewery in days to come, 

As success has crowned the past. 
May the ship ever sail with a favouring gale. 

With good men before the mast. Brave boys I 

In a curious old ; Scotch ballad, ** Dying Words of John 
Dalgleish, Lockman aliai Hangman of Edinburgh," among the 
verses are these ; — 

** Wha in the town could tell my tale 
I brewed my own Strang nappie ale 
The fhbwives gave me right good sale, 

Nae gZMgtv fellows 
Came near me for to touch a peal, 

Fear'd for the gallows. 

When a' the Brewers were run dry 
And drunkards gae the wearie cry. 
What will we do, thro' drowth we'll dy. 

They minded me. 
Came louping in, few folk went by. 

And blyth were we. 
Etc., etc. 

The next epigram, by the Rev. Mr S., of Magdalen, is some- 
what varied : — 

A drunken old Scot by the rigorous sentence 
Of the kirk was condemn'd to the stool of repentance. 
Mess John to his conscience his vices put home. 
And the danger in tliis and the world that's to come: 
Thou reprobate mortal ! why, dost thou not know 
Whither, after your death, all you drunkards must go ? 
Must go when we're dead ? why, sir, you may swear. 
We shall go, one and aU, where we find the best beer. 

2 12 

388 In Prmse of Ale. 

The Scotch did not miDd a joke at their own expense : — 

^ To save a maid St George a dragon dew, 
A braue exployt if all yat sayed be treue. 
Some think ther be no dragons ; nay, 'tis sa/d 
Tber was no George ; pray God ther be a maid ? " 

^ O ! John Carnegie in Dunlappie, 
ThoQ hast a wife baith blythe and sappie, 
A bottle that is baith whyte and nappie ; 
Thou sits, and with thy little cappie 
Thou drinks, and never leaves a drappie. 
Until thou deepest like a tappie ; 
O 1 were I John, I would be happie ! " 

From the notes to the *' Bride of Lamroermoor *' we find that 
it was the universal custom to place ale, wine, or some strong liquor, 
in the chamber of an honoured guest, to assuage his thirst, should 
he feel any, on awaking in the night, which, considering hospitality 
often reached excess, was by no means unlikely. 

It is a current story in Teviotdale that in a house of an ancient 
family of distinction, much addicted to the Presbyterian cause, a 
Bible was always put into the sleeping apartment of the guest along 
with a botde of strong ale. On one occasion there was a meeting 
of clergymen m the vicmity of the castle, all of whom were 
mvited to dinner by the worthy baronet, and several abode all 
night. According to the fashion of the times seven of the rever- 
end guests were allotted to one large barrack-room, which was 
used on such occasions of extended hospitality. The butler took 
care that the divines were presented each, according to custom, 
with a Bible and a bottle of ale. But, after a little consultation 
among themselves, they are said to have recalled the domestic as 
he was leaving the apartment. *^ My friend,'' said one of the 
venerable guests, ** you must know that, when we meet together 
as brethren, the youngest minister reads aloud a portion of the 
Scripture to the rest ; only one Bible, therefore, is necessary : 
take away the other six, and in their place bring six more bottles 
of ale.'' 

Scotch Ale Songs. 389 

Odd figures were some of those Border ministen. There was 
the reverend but drunken Mr Potts, of Ettrick, who often, astride 
a stone wall, would pull off his wig, and with it bdabour his 
fancied steed. Mr Paton, his successor, had a morbid fondness 
for witnessing executions. His stipend was ^^45 ; and his manse 
fell bto such sad disrepair that the outer door had to be barred 
with a wheelbarrow, which kept out the cow and the pig, but not 
the poultry, whilst a folio of Matthew Henry stopped up a hole 
in the floor. Then there was Dr Doughu, of Galashiels, who 
combmed brewing and money-lending with his ministerial fimctions. 
At after-synod meetings, when some of the brethren were loath 
to leave whist-playing even for supper, he might be heard 
exclaiming, ^ Gentlemen, hold up jrour hands till the grace is said." 

From the Rev. Andrew Edgar's '' Old Church Life in Scot- 
land," we find that the conduct of ministers, by the members of 
the old kirk sessions, was closely looked after in a somewhat 
surreptitious manner. His conduct was canvassed as to whether 
he was a haunter of ale-houses. Was he a swearer of small 
minced oaths. Such as, before God, it is so. I protest before 
God, or. Lord what is that ? Saw ye him ever drink healths ? 
Doth he restrain abuses at penny-weddings ? And a whole host 
of other inquisitorial details followed. 

In a provincial council held in Scotland, a.d 1225, it was 
ordered that no layman should sing at the burial or obsequies of 
the dead. '* Item ad funera et exequies mortuorum laicorum 
cantus vel choreas fieri prohibemus, cum non deceat de aliorum 
fletu ridere, sed ibidem potius de hujusmodi dolere." Wijkins, 
G)ncil, V. I, p. 61 7. This prohibition implies it to have been a 
practice in that country, as it certainly was in England; and 
most probably, the persons who had exercised their vocal talents 
at the celebration of a mass of Requiem, became afterwards 
ballad singers at the Give-ale. 

A.D. 1223. Consdt. Ricard. Poor ep'i Sarura. Adhuc 
prohibemus, ne chorese vel turpes et inhonesti ludi, qui ad las- 
civiam invitant, fiant ccemeteriis. Ibid., p. 600, A. 1 2 40, 
Constit. W. de Cantilup ep'i Wigom. Ad servendam quoque 

390 In Praise of Ale. 

tam coemeterii quam ecdesiae reverentiain, prohibernus, oe in 
ccnneteriis vel aliis locis tacratU — ludi $ant inhonesti, maxime in 
sanctorom yigiliisy et festis ecclesiarum, quod potius in dedecus 
aanctii cedere norimus quam honorem, pracsumptoribus et sacer- 
dotibuSy que haM: snsdnuerint fieri, canonice coercendis. Ibid, 
p. 666^ A. 1287. Synod. Exon. dioc. a Petro de Quivil 
episcopo. £t quia in coemeteriiB dedicads multa sanctorum et 
nl?andorum corpora tumulantur, quibus debetur omnis bonor et 
reverentia; sacerdodbus parochialibus districte prxcipimus, ut 
in eccledis suis denundent publice, ne quisquam luctas, choreas, 
▼el alios ludos inhonestos in ccemeteriis exercere przsumat, prz- 
dpue in Tigiliis et (esds sanctorum, cum hujusmodi ludos theatrales 
et ludibria spectacula introductos per quos ecclesiarum coinquinatur 
honestas, sacri ordines detestantur. Quod si aliqui post factam 
denunciadonem. Judos hujusmodi, quamquam improprie dictos, eo 
quod ex eis crimina oriuntur, exercuerint, predicte sacerdotes 
eorom nomina lod archidiacono vel ipsius officiale denuncient, ut 
ipsi pro suis demeritis canonice puniantur. Ibid. vol. ii., p. I40. 
A. 1308. Consdt. synodal, per Henricum Woodloke, epi 
Winton. — Praedpimus et in ipds (ccemeteriis) in sanctorum 
fesdvitadbus aut aliis luctae non fiant, aut choreas ducantur, vel-alii 
ludi spectabiles habeantur. 

The annexed dirge on the death of Alexander iii., of Scotland, 
obiit 1285, is the oldest spedmen of the printed Scottish of that 
period extant, and alludes to ale as the nadonal beverage. 

Quhen Alysandyr; our Icyng, wes dede, 

That Scodand led in luive and le,* 
Away wes sons of ale and brede, 

Of wyne and wax, of gamyn and gle ; 
Oure gold we changyd into lede, 

Chryst boon into virgynyte, 
Succour Scotland and remede 

That stad is m perplexyte. 

From WyntowrCs CronykiL 

« And Gaffer Treadwell told us by-the-bye 
Excessive sorrow was exceeding dry." 

• /.f., Tranquillity. 

Scotch Ale Songs. 391 

DeaD Ramsay in his *< Reminiscences of Scottish Life and 
Character" tells of the big drinks with which funerals were 
celebrated. On one occasion the churchyard was about ten 
miles distant from where the death occurred. It was a short day 
in November, and when the funeral party came to the churchyard, 
the shades of night had considerably closed in. The graTedigger, 
whose patience had been exhausted in waiting, was not in the 
least willing to accept the chief mourner's apology for delay. After 
looking about, he put the anxious question, << But, Capt'n, whaur*! 
Miss Kitty ? " The reply was, " In her coffin to be sure, and get 
it mto the earth as fast as you can." There, however, was no 
coffin ; the procession had sojourned at a country inn by the way 
— had rested the body on a dyke — started without it, and had to 
postpone the interment until next day. 

Such notions, continued the Dean, of what is due to the 
memory of the departed have now become unusual if not absolete. 
I officiated at the funeral of the late Duke of Sutherland. The 
procession was a mile long. Refreshments were provided for 
7,000 persons ; beef, bread, and beer : but not one glass of whisky 
was allowed on the property that day. 

Another unknown author describes the sorrows and consola- 
tions of a bereaved wife : — 

^ She sits in her room, in the deepest of gloom. 
Weeping her bright eyes red ; 
She sits by the beer, and sheds many a tear. 
Because her dear husband is dead." 

Scotlamd's ScArrH. 

This k>ng and doleful ballad, written about 1 794-$, by Hector 
Macneil, relates the sad history of Will and Jean. Will and his 
brother-crofters were seduced by a buxom widow who kept the 
village mn : — 

Down below, a flowery meadow 
Joined the bumie's rambling line — 

Here it was that Howe the Wmow 
This same day set up her sign. 

392 In Praise of Ale. 

Brattling down the brae, and near its 

Bottom, Will first marvelin' sees 
P0RTER9 Ale, and Brhish Spouts, 

Painted bright between twa trees. 

M God sakes ! Tam, here's walth for drinking — 

Wha can this new comer be I — 
Hoot ! quo' Tam, there's drouth in thinking — 

Let's in. Will, and syne we'll see." 

Nae mair time they took to speak, or 

Think o' ought but reaming jugs ; 
Till three times in humming liquor 

Ilk lad deeply laid his lugs. 

Slocken'd now, refi^eshed and talking. 

In cam she, weel skill'd to please ; 
** Sirs ! ye're surely tyr'd wi' walking. 

Ye maun taste my bread and cheese." 

The bread and cheese led to more drinking for the good of the 
house, when some more neighbours dropping in, they made a night 
of it, and founded a bi-weekly political club, and took in the 
paper: — 

'* Ilk ane's wiser than anither ; 

Things are no ga'en right, quo' Tam, 
Let us oftener meet together. 
Twice a week's not worth a damn." 

The ax-night club was too much for Will's purse and person 
to stand, and he came to grief in consequence. But in the mean- 
time, Jeannie had taken to whisky, with sad results : — 

^ Things at length draw near an ending, 
Cash rins out : Jean quite unhappy, 
Sees that Will is now past mending, 
Tynes a' heart, and takes a drappy. 

Sccfcb Ale Songs. 393 

** Ilka drink deseires a posey. 

Fori makes men rude. Claret ciWl ; 
Beer makes Briton's stout and rosy, 
Whiihy makes ilk' wife — a deviL 

The end of this long story is that they are sold up. Will goes 
for a soldier, and after years of suffering rejoins his wife a crippled 
pensioner ; and they are successfully started again in life, by the 
then Duchess of finccleugh. The chief moral of this story is 

*< That Beer makes Britons stout and rosy. 
Whisky makes ilk wife a deril." 

Here is a fiir better picture of Scottidi life, written by 
Robert Bums to John Lepraik, author of ^ Scottish Domestic 

Epistle to John Lef&4ik. 

There was ae sang, amang the rest, 
Aboon them a' it pleased me best, 
That some kind husband had addrest 

To some sweet wife ; 
It thirl'd the heart-strings through the breast, 

A* to the life. 

I've scarce heard aught described sae wed, 
What generous, manly bosoms feel ; 
Thought I, can this be Pope, or Steele, 

Or Seattle's wark i 
They uuld me 'twas an odd kind chiel 

About Muirkirk« 

It pat me fidgin' fain tae hear% 
And sae about him there I spiert ; 
Then a' that kent him round declared 

He had ingine. 
That nane exceUed it, few cam near't. 

It was so fine. 

394 f^ Praise of Ale. 

That, see him to a pint of ale^ 

An' either douce or merry tale, 

Or rhymes an' sangs he'd made himsel'y 

Or witty catches, 
'Tween Inverness and Teviotdale 

He had few matches. 

Then up 1 gat, an' swoor an' aith. 

Though I should pawn my pleugh an' graith, 

Or die a cadger pownie's death 

At some dyke-back, 
A pint and gill I'd give them baith 

To hear your crack. 

The Winds Whistlb Cold. 

The following capital song is from the opera of '* Guy 
Mannering," written by Daniel Terry (1780 1828). 

The winds whistle cold, 

And the stars glimmer red ; 
The flocks are in fold, 

And the cattle in shed. 
When the hoar frost was chill 
Upon moorland and hill. 

And was fringing the forest bough. 
Our fitthers would troul 
The bonny brown bowl ; 

And so will we do now. 

Jolly hearts ! 
And so will we do now. 

Gafier winter may seize 

Upon milk in the pail ; 
'Twill be long ere he freeze 

The bold brandy and ale ; 

Scotch AU Songs. 395 

For our fathers so bold. 
They laugh'd at the cold. 

When Boreas was bending his brow ; 
For they quaffed mighty ale. 
And they told a blithe tale ; 
And 80 will we do now. 

Jolly hearts ! 
And so will we do now. 


In 1272 a duty by gauge was placed upon wine ; but it is not 
until 1 482 that we find the manufacture of beer or ale in Scot- 
land noticed by the government, although it abounded in that 
country long before (Acts, Jac. 3, c. 89). At the Union a duty 
Mras introduced, similar in point of regulation to that imposed in 
England. On two-penny ale^ which was the principal mali drmi 
in use at the time, it was rated at 2s. i ^. per barrel. Several 
alterations followed, but, in proportion to the advance of duty, 
the work of the brewery decreased. In 1 760 the excise stood 
at 3s. 4^d. per barrel. 

Bums' Exciseman finds a parallel in an English song I quoted 
earlier : — 

The Exas£MAN. 
Tune — ^ The deil cam fiddling through the toon. 


The deil cam fiddling through the town, 

And danced awa wi' the exciseman. 
And ilka wife cries, ** Auld Mahoun, 
I wish ye luck o' the prize, man ! " 
The deil's awa, the deil's awa, 

The deil's awa wi' the exciseman ; 
He's danced awa, he's danced awa. 
He's danced awa wi' the exciseman. 

39^ In Praise of Ale. 

We'll mak our roaut, we'll brew our drink, 
We'll dance, and sing, and rejoice, man ; 
And mony braw thanks to the meikle black deil 
That danced awa wi' the exciseman. 
The deil's awa, the deil's awa^ 

The deil's awa wi' the exciseman ; 
He's danced awa, he's danced awa. 
He's danced awa wi' the exciseman. 

There's threesome reels, there's foursome reels, 

Xhere's hornpipes and strathspeys, man ; 
But the ae best dance e'er cam to the land 
Was, the deil's awa wi' the exciseman. 
The deil's awa, the deil's awa. 

The deil's awa wi' the exciseman ; 
He's danced awa, he's danced awa, 
He's danced awa wi' the exciseman. 

There is something of the ring of jolly good ale and old, in the 
next song of Bums : — 

Oh, Gude Ale Comes. 

Oh, gude ale comes, and gude ale goes ; 
Gude ale gars me seU my hose, 
Sell my hose, and pawn my shoon ; 
Gude ale keeps my heart aboon. 

I had sax owsen in a pleuch, 
And they drew teuch, and weel eneuch : 
I sell'd them a' — ^just ane by ane ; 
Gude ale keeps my heart aboon. 

Gude ale bauds me bare and busy. 
Gars me moop wi' the servant hizzie, 
Stand i' the stool when I hae done ; 
Gude ale keeps my heart aboon. 

&t Ale Songs. 397 

Ohy gude ale comes, and gude ale goes ; 
Gude ale gars me sell my hosey 
Sell my hose, and pawn my sboon ; 
Gude ale keeps my heart aboon. 

O, WiLUE Brew'd a Peck o' Maut. 

0» Willie brewM a peck o' maut. 

And Rob and Allan cam' to see ; 
Three blither hearts, that lee-lang night. 

Ye wadna found in Christendie. 
We are na fu', we're nae that fu'. 

But just a drappie in our ee ; 
The cock may craw, the day may da'. 

And ay we'll taste the barley bree. 

Here are we met, three merry boys, 
Three merry boys, I trow, are we ; 

And mony a night we've merry been. 
And mony mae we hope to be. 
We are na fu', &c. 

It is the moon, I ken her horn. 

That's blinking in the lift sae hie ; 
She shines sae bright to wyle us hame, 

But by my sooth she'll wait a wee ! 
We are na fu', &c« 
Wha first shall rise to gang awa', 

A cuckold, coward loon is he ! 
Wha first beside his chair shall fa', 

He is the King amang us three. 
We are na fii', &c. 

By the way, the punishment of the cucking or ducking stool 
was not limited to the punishment of shrews exclusively, but the 
ale-wives had to sufier that infliction when they deserved it. Ac- 
cording to Sir John Skene, in his ** Regiam Majestatem," it was 

398 In Praise cf Ale. 

a common mode of punishment in Scotland In the Burrow 
LaweSy chap. 69, in allusion to Browsters — that is, '^wemen 
quha brewes aill to be sauld " — ^it is said : << Gif she makes gude 
ail, that is sufficient; but gif she makes evill ail, contrair to the 
use and consuetude of the burgh, and is convict thereof, she 
sal pay ane unlaw of aucht shillinges, or sal suffer the justice 
of the burgh — that is, she sal be put upon the cock stule, and 
the ail sal be distributed to the pure folk.'' 

In England the punishment of the cucking stool was also 
awarded to brewers of either sex. We find in the Domesday 
Book that any man or woman who brewed bad ale at Chester had 
the option of a fine of four shillings, or be placed in stercovis^ in 
modem words, in the limbo of the ducking stool ; and Blount 
says that this punishment was in use among the Saxons. 

I have quoted Bums' version of *<John Barleycorn," with 
other songs of that ilk, under the heading of ^ Malt and Barley," 
and now will wind up these songs with a dance, the words 
composed by the Rev. John Skinner : — 


Come gie's a song, Montgomery cried. 
And lay your disputes a' aside ; 
What signifies 't for folks to chide 

For what's been done before them. 
Let Whig and Tory a' agree, 
Whig and Tory, Whig and Tory, 
Whig and Tory a* agree 

To drop their Whigmigorum. 
Let Whig and Tory a* agree 
To spend the night with mirth and glee, 
And cheerfu' sing alang wi' me 

The reel o' TuUochgorum. 

O, Tullochgoram's my delight. 
It gars us a' in ane unite. 
And ony sumph that keeps up spite, 
In conscience I abhor him. 

Scotch Ale Songs. 399 

For btjrtbe and ineny we'll be a', 
BIytbe and meny, biythe and mernr, 
Blytbe and merry we'll be a'. 

And make a cheerfu' quoninu 
For Ufdte and meny well be a', 
Ai laog at we hae breath to draw. 
And dance, till we be like to h', 

The reel o' Tullochgorum. 

There needi di be lae great a fraue, 
Wi' drioging dull Italian layt ; 
I wadua gie our ain Arathipeyi, 

For hauf-a-hnnder score o" 'em. 
They're dowF and dowie at the best. 
Dowf and dowie, dowf and dowie, 
They're dowf and dowie at the beat, 

Wi' a' their variorum. 
They're dowf and dowie at the bett, 
Their jt&grot, and a' the rett : 
Tbey caona please a Highland taste, 

Compared wi' Tullochgorum. 

Let warldly minds themKlres oppren 
Wi' fears o' want and double cen. 
And ally iota themaeltet dutren 

Wi' keepng up decorum. 
Shall we Be tour and sulky sit i 
Soar and sulky, sour and sulky, 
Sour and sulky shall we sit* 

Like auld Philosophorum ! 
Shall we lae sour and sulky rit, 
Wi' onther sense, nor mirth, nor wit. 
Nor CTcr rise to shake a Sit 

To the reel o' Tullochgorum ? 

May choicest blesnnga aye attend 
Each honest, open-hearted Friend, 
And calm and <]iiiet be his end. 

And a' that's gude watch o'er him. 

400 In Praise of Ale. 

May peace and plenty be his lot. 
Peace and plenty, peace and plenty. 
Peace and plenty be his lot, 

And dainties a great store o' em ; 
May peace and plenty be his lot, 
UnstainM by ony vicious blot. 
And may he never want a grot. 

That's fond o* Tullochgorum ! 

But for the discontented fool 
Who loves to be oppression's tool. 
May envy gnaw his rotten soul. 

And discontent devour him ! 
May dool and sorrow be his chance, 
Dool and sorrow, dool and sorrow, 
Dool and sorrow be his chance. 

And nane say, wae's me for him : 
May dool and sorrow be his chance. 
And a' the ills that come frae France, 
Whae'er he be that winna dance 

The reel o' Tullochgorum ! 

The foregoing selection is far from complete, but it is a fairly 
rep re s e ntative one, and shows the richness as well as the ^ wut and 
humour " that pervades the language, especially when good ale is 
in question, and now I will conclude with a toast by Sir James 
Boswell: — 

<' Gude night, and joy be wi' you a' ; 

Your harmless mirth has cheered my heart : 
May life's fell blasts out ower ye blaw ; 

In sorrow may ye never part ! 
My spirit lives, but strength is gone, 

The mountain fires now blaze in vain ; 
Remember, sons, the deeds I've done. 

And in your deeds 111 live again." 




** No boarded sweets of Gredatt store 
Did e'er the Jttie Bee prowde^ 
That could a purer flavour yields 
Than yields the comb this hive eontmns^ 
Though euUedfrom no Hesperian fleU 
But the wild growth of Britain* s plains J* 

Local and dialect tongs have a double Talue, as they illustrate 
the popular sentiment in quaint and telling language; a little 
exaggerated, perhaps, but that is pardonable enough. ** Boston 's 
The Hub of the Universe ; " and this sentiment prevails among 
the inhabitants of the remotest villages. And what quaint old- 
world reminiscences do these provincialisms convey to our minds \ 
The songs, generally speaking, are of the home, homely. 

Yorkshire, I believe, rejoices in old stingo and the praises 
thereof, more, perhaps, than any other county in England ; and 
Yorkshiremen were always famed for hospitality and good cheer. 
When Squire Worthy welcomes Dr Syntax, he says — 

^ I have no Greek or Latin lingo 
But a fresh tap of Foaming stingo—" 

Again, Canning celebrates the doings at Roebuck Hall — 

Whereat a group (his worship's lackeys) 
Of squires, parsons, grooms, and jockeys, 
Were met to testify their zeal. 
And closely ply his honour's ale ; 
When loaded well with good October 
To bed they tumbled, drunk or sober. 

2 c 

402 In Praise of Ale, 

Mr GUes Warrington, of Northallerton, York, in '1697, 
celebrated the virtues of Yorkshire ale in an epic, describmg 
the doings of gods and noen : — 

Praise of Youlshi&e Ale. 

Bacchus haying cali'd a |Kirlianient of late, 

For to consult about some things of state. 

Nearly concerning the honour of his court. 

To th' «< Sun " behind th' Exchange they did resort ; 

Where being met and many things that time 

Concerning the adulterating wine 

And other liquors ; selling of ale in mugs ; 

Silver tankards, black pots, and little jugs ; 

Strong beer in rabbits and cheating penny cans. 

Three pipes for two-pence, and such like trepans : ' 

And many other things were then debated. 

And bills past, upon the cases stated ; 

And all thbgs ready for adjournment, then 

Stood up one of the northern country men, 

A boon good fellow and a lover of strong ale. 

Whose tongue well steeped in sack, began his tale : 

" My buUy rocks, I've been experienced long 

In most of liquors that are counted strong 

And several others, but none do I find 

Like * bumming northern ale to suit my mind ; 

It is pleasant to the taste, strong and mellow. 

He that affects it not, is no boon fellow ; 

It warms in winter, in summer opes the pores, 

'Twill make a sovereign salve 'gainst cuts and sores ; 

It ripens wit, exhilarates the mind, 

Makes friends of foes, and foes of friends full kind ; 

It's physical for old men, warms their blood. 

Its spirits makes the coward's courage good ; 

* Hum meant strong liquor : hence humming ale— strong ale. 

Local and Dialect Songs. 403 

The tatter'd beggar being warm'd with ale» 
Nor nuoy hail, frost, nor snow can him assail ; 
He's a good man with him can then compare. 
It makes a 'prentice great as the Lord Mayor; 
The laboring man that toils all day full sore, 
A pot of ale at night does him restore, 
And makes him all his toil and pains forget. 
And for another day's work he's then fit ; 
There's more in drinking ale sure than we wot. 
For most ingenious artists have a pot. 
• ••••• 

Soldiers and gownmen. 
Rich and poor, old and young, lame and sound men, 
May much advantage reap by drinking ale. 
As should I tell, you'd think it but a tale: 
Oh the rare virtues of this barley broth ! 
To rich and poor it's meat and drink and cloth." 
The court here stopt him, and the Prince did say: 
" Where may we find this nectar, 1 thee pray ? " 
The boon good fellow answer'd : ** I can tell; 
Northallerton in Torksbire does exeeU 
AU England — n jjr, all Europe-— for strong ale ; 
If thither we adjourn we shall not fail 
To taste such humming stuff as, I dare say. 
Your Highness never tasted to this day." 
They, hearing this, the house agreed upon 
All for adjournment to Northallerton: 
Madam Bradley s was the chief house then nam'd, 
There they must taste this noble ale so fam'd 
And nois'd abroad in each place far and near; 
Nay, take it, Bradley, for strong ale and beer — 
Thou hast it loose — there's none can do so well. 
In brewing ale thou dost all else excell. 
Adjournment day being come, there did appear 
A brave full house — Bacchus himself was there. 
This nectar was brought in, each had his cup, 
But at the first they did but sipple up 

2 c 2 

404 In Praise rf Ale. 

This rare ambrosia ; but finding that 

Twas grateful to the taste, and made them chat. 

And laughy and talk, O then, when all was out, 

They call'd for more, and drank full cans about. 

Off* went their perriwigs, coats, and rapers, 

Out went the candle, noses for tapers 

Senr'd to give light, whilst they did dance around, 

Drinking full healths with caps upon the ground ; 

And still as they did dance their roundelays. 

They all did cry: '^This drink deserves the bays 

Above all liquors we have ever tasted ; 

It's a pity that a drop of it were wasted." 

These antic sights made Bacchus to admire. 

And then he did begin for to enquire 

What privileges were bestowed upon 

This famous ale town of Northallerton. 

The answer was that it was known 

To have four fairs i' th' year, a borough town. 

One market every week, and that was all. 

This mov^ Bacchus presently to call 

For a great jug, which held about five quarts. 

And filling it to the brim, " Come here, my hearts," 

Said he, " we'll drink about this merry health 

To the honour of their town, their state, and wealth ; 

For by the essence of this drink I swear 

This town is famous for strong ale and beer; 

And for the sake of this good nappy ale, 

Of my great favour it shall never &il 

For to promote the quick return of trade, 

For all strong ale and beer that is here made." 

So to't they went, and drank full healths about. 

Till they drunk money, wit, and senses out; 

For whilst one drop of ale was to be had, 

They quaft, and drunk it round about like mad. 

When all was ofiP, then out they pull'd the taps. 

And stuck the spiddocks finely in their hats; 

Local and Dialect Songs. 405 

And 80 triumphantly away they went, 

But they did all agree with one conaent 

To Easingwold they then away would pass. 

With Nanny DniHeld there to drink a glass; 

They then to famous York would haste away, 

For thither they'd adjourn the court that day. 

When they to York were come, they rov*d about 

From house to house to find such nectar out 

As they had tasted last, although they heard 

Of Parker's coffee-house i' th' Minster Yard, 

The several sorts of strong ale there would find. 

Some of which ale would surely please their mind. 

Unto this place they went and crowded in ; 

" Come wench," said they, ** with strong ale we'll begin." 

*' Sir," said the girl, ^* we've ale that's strong and old, 

Both from NorthaUertm and Easingwold^ 

From Suitottf Tbinke^ likewise Rascaltowny 

We've ale also that's called knocker-down." 

'' Well bring a tankard of each in, you maid. 

Well ttste them every one," the courtiers said. 

The ale came in, each man a tankard had, 

They tasted all, and swore they were full gkd 

Such stingo, nappy pure ale they had found: 

'* Let's lose no time," said they, '' but drink around" 

About and about it went full merrily. 

Till some could neither go, stand, sit, nor see. 

They called and drank till they were all high flown. 

And could not find their way into the town ; 

They stagger'd to and fro, had such light heads. 

That they were guided all into their beds; 

And in the morning when they did awake, 

They curs'd and swore that all their heads did ache; 

O Yorkshire, Yorkshire 1 thy ale it is so strong 

That it will kill us if we stay too long. 

So they agreed a journey for to make 

Into the south, some respit there to take; 

But in short space again, they said, they'd come 

4o6 In Praise of Ak. 

And taste some more of this said Yorkshire hom: 

It is so pleasant, mellow too, and fine, 

That Bacchus swore he'd never more drink wine. 

Hull Ale. 

^< Were he not warmed with Ale^ 
Thu were a bed but cM to sleep soundly** 

— Taming the Shrew. 

By the Rev. Mr S., of Magdalen. 

Long time did a silly old proverb prevail. 
That meat, drink, and cloth were all found in good ale; 
'Till a lover of truth went on purpose to Hull, 
And, to try an experiment, drank his skin fiilL 
He began to see visions, his head it tum'd round, 
'Till off from his kef&l he fell on the ground: 
There in trances profound our philosopher mellow 
Lay all night in the snow, consulting his pillow. 
Oracular vapours give prophecy birth. 
As Plutarch reports, springing out of the earth : 
Whether this was the cause, or however inspired. 
Our sage gave a sentence will be ever admir'd. 
'Twas this — I pronounce that good ale is good meat. 
For I find I have no inclination to eat; 
That good ale is good cloth you may honesdy boast. 
For i' faith I'm as blithe and as warm as a toast; 
But to call it good drink — is a lye, I'll be sworn. 
For I ne'er was so dry since the hour I was bom, 
The cloth, cries a punster who chanced to come by. 
Must be a good drap if it kept you so dry. 

There is a wonderful unanimity of opinion between the writer 
of «* Jolly Good Ale and Old," the Rev. H. S., and the hero 
of the following tale which appeared in the « Man in the Moone ; 

Local and Dialect Songs. 407 

or, the English Fortune Teller," printed m 1 609. This scene 
occurs between a gentleman and beggar. The gentleman ofiert 
employment and clothing to the beggar, who states that he has a 
suit of clothes in pawn for eightpence, and the gendeman agrees 
to redeem them, whereupon the beggar leads his patron to an ale- 
house, when ^ The beggar called to his hostesse, saying, Hostesse, 
bring hither my shirt, she brought him a black pot of ale which 
he dranke off; now, said he, bring me my dublet, then she 
brought him another pot of ale which he dranke off; now my 
breeches, another pot she brought him, that he dranke off; 
now bring my hose and shoes, then she brought two blacke 
pots of ale, those he dranke off; now my hatband and doake, 
then she brought him three blacke pots of ale which he dranke 
off; when he had done this, he said, Gentleman, this is the suite 
I told you off, and now I have it, I thinke I am as well 
apparrelled as an emperour. The gendeman, smiling, paid for 
this ale and departed.'' 

Richard Brathwaite, who wrote his itinera under the nom de 
plume of ** Drunken Bamabee," thus records his experience of 
Yorkshire alehouses in his time : — 

The oyle of malt and juyce of spritely nectar 
Have made my muse more valiant than Hector. 

Straight at Wakefield I was seen-a. 
Where I sought for George a Grcen-a, 
But I could find no such creature ; 
On a sign I saw his feature, 
Where the strength of ale so stirr'd me, 
I grew stouter farre than Geordie. 

Thence to Scaresdale, where I viewed 
An hall which like a uvenie shewed ; 
Neate gates, white walls, nought was sparing. 
Pots brim-fuU, no thought of caring ; 
They eat, drink, laugh, are sdll mirth-making, 
Nought they see that's worth care taking. 

4o8 In Praise of Ale. 

Thence to Kirkland, thence to Kendall^ 

I did that which men call spend-all : 

Night and day with sociats many. 

Drink I ale both thick and clammy. 

^ Shroud thy head, boy, stretch thy hand too. 

Hand h'as done, head cannot stand to." 


No bushy no garland ; pot's thy bush and beare : 
Of beare and bush thou smellest all the yeare. 

Foecundi calicis quem non fecere disertum — 

O'er flowing cups whom have they not made leam'd. 

For the world, I so farre prize it. 
But for liquor Pd despise it ; 
Thousand deaths I'd rather dye too, 
Than hold ale my enemy too : 
Sober, lamb-like doe I wander ; 
Drunk, I'm stout as Alexander. 

Hence to Gastile, [ was drawne in 
To an alehouse, neare adjoining 
To a chappell ; I drunk stingo 
With a butcher and Domingo 
Th' curat,* who to my discerning 
Was not guilty of much learning. 

The next from the ** Myrtle and the Vine " is variously known 
as a ghss of English ale or a glass of old stingo, and on that 
account I credit it to Yorkshire: — 

Enoush Ale. 

D'ye mind me ? I once was a sailor, 

And in diflerent countries I've been ; 
If I lie, may I go for a tailor ! 

But a thousand fine sights I have seen : 

* I askt him, What's a-clock ? He look'd at th' tun, 
But want of Latin made him answer, Mum. 

Local and Dialect Songs. 409 

I've been cnunm'd with good things like a wallet, 
And I've guzzled more drink than a whale ; 

But the very best stuff to my palate 
Is a glass of your English good ale. 

Your doctors may boast of their lotions. 

And ladies may talk of their tea ; 
But I envy them none of their potions, — 

A ghss of good stingo for me ! 
The doctor may sneer if he pleases. 

But my recipe never will fail. 
For the physic that cures all diseases 

Is a bumper of good English ale. 

When my trade was upon the salt ocean. 

Why there I had plenty of grog ; 
And I lik'd it, because I'd a notion 

It sets one's good spirits agog ; 
But since upon land I've been steering, 

Experience has altered my tale, 
For nothing on earth is so cheering 

As a bumper of English good ale. 

** The Cup of Old Stingo " was a great favourite. I have 
taken this venion from the Merry Drollery of 1650 : — 

A Cup of Old Stinoo. 

There's a lusty liquor which 

Good fellows use to take — a. 
It is distill'd with nard most rich. 

And water of the lake — a; 
Of hop a little quantity. 

And barm to it they bring too; 
Being harrell'd up, they call't a cup 

Of dainty good old stingo. 

4IO In Praise of Ale. 

'Twill make a man indentures make, 

Twill make a fool seem wise, 
Twill make a Puritan sociate, 

And leave to be precise; 
Twill make him dance about a cross. 

And eke to run the ring too, 
Or anything he once thought gross, 

Such virtue hath old stingo. 

Twill make a constable over see 

Sometimes to serve a warrant; 
Tvdll make a bailiff lose his fee. 

Though he be a knave-arrant; 
Twill make a lawyer, though that he 

To ruin oft men brings, too. 
Sometimes forget to take his fee 

If his head be lin'd with stingo. 

Twill make a parson not to flinch, 

Though he seem wondrous holy, 
And for to kiss a pretty wench. 

And think it is no fblly; 
Twill make him learn for to decline 

The verb that's callM mngo^ 
Twill make his nose like copper shine. 

If his head be lin'd with stingo. 

Twill make a weaver break his yam, 

That works with right and Idft foot. 
But he hath a trick to save himself. 

Hell say there wanteth woof to 't; 
Twill make a tailor break his thread, 

And eke his thimble ring too, 
Twill make him not to care for bread. 

If his head be lin'd with stingo. 

Local and Dialect Songs. 4 1 1 

Twill make a baker quite forget 

That ever com was cheap. 
Twill make a butcher have a fit 

Sometimes to dance and leap; 
Twill make a miller keep his room, 

A health for to begin, too, 
Twill make him shew his golden thumb, 

If his head be lin'd with stmgo. 

Twill make an hostess free of heart, 

And leave her measures ptnchug, 
Twill make an host with liquor part. 

And bid him hang all flinching; 
It's so beWd, I dare protest. 

Men cannot live without it. 
And when they find there is the best 

The most will flock about it. 

And, finally, the beggar poor, 

That walks till he be weary. 
Craving along from door to door, 

With prt^ommuerere ; 
If he do change to catch a touch. 

Although his clothes be thin, too. 
Though he be lame, he'll prove his crutch. 

If his head be lin'd with stingo. 

Now to conclude, here u a health 

Unto the lad that spendeth. 
Let every man drink off his can. 

And so my ditty endeth ; 
I willing am my friend to pledge, 

For he will meet me one day ; 
Let's drink the barrel to the dregs, 

For the malt-man comes a«Monday. 

412 In Praise of Ale. 

Here is what the Rev. R. H. Barham puq)ort8 to be the 
legend of St Gengulphus — probably one of the silliest coroposi- 
tioDs I have reproduced : — 

St JingOy or Gengo (Gengulphus), sometime styled "The 
Living Jingo " firom the great tenaciousness of vitality exhibited 
by his severed members. Gengulphus, or, as he is usually styled 
in this country, ** Jingo," was perhaps more in the mouths of the 
^ general " than any other saint, on occasions of adjuration. Mr 
Simpkinton, of Bath, has kindly transmitted me a portion of a 
primitive ballad, which has escaped the researches of Ritson and 
Ellis, but is yet replete with beauties of no common order. I am 
happy to say that, since these legends first appeared, I have re- 
covered the whole of it — Fide infra, 

A Franklyn's dogge leped over a style, 
And hys name was littel Byngo. 
B with a Y — Y with an N, 
N with a G — G with an O, 
They call'd hym littel Bpgo ! 

Thys Franklyn, syrs, he brewed goode ayle, 
And -he called it Rare good Styngo ! 
S,T, Y,N,G,0! 
He call'd it Rare goode Styngo ! 

Nowe is notte thys a prettie song ? 
I thinke it is, bye Jyngo, 
J wythc a Y— N, G, O— 
I sweare yt is, bye Jyngo ! 

The next, in praise of Warrington Ale, appeared in "Harland's 
Ancient Ballads and Songs of Lancashire," with a note to the 
efiect that the song was by a then deceased author, and printed 
for the first time. 

Warrington Ale. 

Your doctors may boast of their lotions, 

And ladies may talk of their tea ; 
But I envy them none of their potions: 

A ghss of good stingo for me. 

Local and Dialect Songs. 4 1 3 

The doctor may sneer if he pleaaesi 

Bat my recipe never will fail ; 
For the physic that cures all diseases 

Is a bumper of Warrington ale. 

D'ye mind me, I once was a sailor. 

And m di^rent countries I've been; 
If I lie, may I go for a tailor, 

But a thousand fine sights I have seen. 
Pve been cramm'd with good things like a wallet, 

And I've guzzled more drink than a whale; 
But the very best stuff to my palate 

Is a glass of your Warrington ale. 

When my trade was upon the salt ocean, 

Why, there I got plenty of grog, 
And I liked it, because I'd a notion 

It set one's good spirits agog. 
But since upon land I've been steering. 

Experience has alter'd my tale. 
For nothing on earth is so cheering 

As a bumper of Warrington ale. 

Into France I have oftentimes foUow'd, 

And once took a trip into Spain ; 
And ail kinds of liquor I've swallow'd. 

From ^ring-water up to champagne. 
But the richest of wines to my thinking. 

Compared with good stingo, is stale; 
For there's nothing in life that's worth drinkbg 

Like a bumper of Warrington ale. 

The praise of Nottingham Ale is taken from the ** History of 
Nottingham," by John Blackman, 1815. 

The song was written by a gentleman named Gemthorpe, an 
officer in the army, on the occasion of a barrel of Nottingham 
ale being sent to him by a brother who kept the Punch Bowl, in 

4»4 In Praise of Ale. 

Peck Lane, Notdngham* Blackman says — we know not with 
what truth — that *< it is partly owing to the excellent quality of 
the coal in this neighbouriiood that Nottbgham owes the superior 
flavour o{ its ale ! " 

Nottingham Ale. 

Fair Venus, the goddess of beauty and love. 

Arose from the froth which swam on the sea: 
Minerva leapt out of the cramum of Jove^ 

A coy sullen slut, as most authors agree; 
Bold Bacchus, they tell us, the prince of good fellows, 

Was a natural son — ^pray attend to ray tale; 
But they that thus chatter, mistake quite the matter — 

He sprung firom a barrel of Nottingham ale; 
Nottingham ale, boys, Nottbgham ale; 
No liquor on earth like Nottingham ale ! 

And having survey'd well the cask whence he sprung. 

For want of more liquor, low-spirited grew ; 
He mounted astride, set himself on the bung, 

And away to the gods and the goddesses flew; 
But, when he look'd down, and saw the fair town, 

To pay it due honours, not likely to fail; 
He swore that on earth, 'twas the place of his birth. 

And the best — and no liquor like Nottingham ale. 

Nottingham ale, &c. 

Ye bishops and deacons, priests, curates, and vicars. 

When once you have tasted you'll own it is true, 
That Nottbgham ale is the best of all liquors; 

And who understands the good creature like you ? 
It expels every vapour — saves pen, ink, and paper; 

And when you're disposed firom the pulpit to rail, 
rfwill open your throats — you may preach without notes 

When inspired with a bumper of Nottingham ale. 

Nottingham ale, 6cc. 

Local and Dialect Songs. 4 1 5 

Ye doctors, who more execution have done 

With powder and bolus, with potion and pill. 
Than hangman with halter, or soldier with gun, 

Than miser with Eunine, or lawyer with quill; . 
To dispatch us the quicker, you forbid us malt liquor, 

Till our bodies consume, and our faces grow pale; 
But mind it, what pleases, and cures all diseases, 

Is a comforting dose of good Nottingham ak! 

Nottingham ale, &c. 

Ye poets who brag of the Helicon brook. 

The nectar of gods, and the juice of the vine; 
You say none can write well, except they invoke 

The friendly assistance of one of the nine ; 
Here's liquor surpasses the streams of Parnassus, 

The nectar ambrosia, on which gods regale; 
Experience will show it, nought makes a good poet 

Like quantum tuffidt of Nottingham ale ! 

Nottingham ale, &c. 

The Independent fVhig^ a religious journal published in 1752, 
'^written and published during the kte rebellion," records that: — 

*' An ancient Baronet in Lmcohublre who was foadofNoiting'^ 
bam ale beyond all other liquors, though no enemy to any, yet 
would never taste a drop of it, nor bear to hear it proposed, after 
the Lord Chancellor Finch, who had made a very just decree in 
his disfavour, was made Earl of Nottingham. This was equiva« 
lent to cutting off his nose to spite his &ce." 

The next spirited stanzas appeared in l/oiet and Queriei^ 
May, 1856. 

Nottingham Ale. 

Let Teetotalers gabble, 

And kick up a squabble, 
And swill out their guts with cold tea ; 

Good old Nottingham Ale 
Was ne'er known to fail 

To raise the good ^irits in me. 

4^6 In Praise of Ale. 

'Twill make you much stronger, 

And \vrt all the longer, 
'Twill warm your jolly inside, 

And when you are dead 
It will not be said, 

'Twas the want of good liquor you died. 

For Whiskey or Gin 

I don't care a pin, 
Away with all Spirits away; 

But a glass of good A]e, 
" Old Nottingham's Pale "— 

There is no drink to beat it I say. 

Then Hurrah ! for the true, 

Old Nottingham brew, 
No better on earth can there be; 

It dispells all our sorrows. 
And all things that bothers. 

So a cup of good Ale give to me. 

The Newcastle poets have emulated each other in singing the 
praises of their native brewage. Probably the most inspiriting 
song is the annexed one by Joseph P. Robson, a very popular poet 
in his day. His poems are witty and humorous without being 
oflensive. The date is 1848: — 

Alb! Ale! all Alb! 

I'll sing you a song with a voice as bold 

As a lion in the wood, 
While I quaff* a cup of the brown and old. 

And it joys as it warms my blood. 

Local and Dialect Songs. 417 

Oh, how a fish Pd love to be. 
If the ocean were good ale ; 
Among the foam right merrily 
I'd gambol like a whale. 

Singing, Ale, all ale ! my boyi, all ale ! 

There's nothing like ale can be; 
Regale, regale on the home-brewed ale ; 
And a jolly MX pot for me I 

Oh, ever since the world began — 

Some say long before — 
Good ale was dearly loved by man, 

Who drank it in galore ; 
For Samson strong had never been $ 

Each fox had kept his tail ; 
And Gaza's gates we might have seen. 

But — Sammy loved good ale. 

Singing, Ale, all ale 1 &c 

King Pharaoh loved a chirping cup. 

As it plainly doth appear; 
For he strove to drink the Red Sea up. 

As it looked like good old beer ; 
But, unto his teetotal cost. 

He found it rayther small ; 
So he daro'd the water where he was lost — 

Cars, horses, men, and all. 

Singing, Ale, all ale, &c« 

Hurrah ! for the Saxon days of yore, 

When the wassail cup went round ! 
When the barons pledged of healths a score 

To the ladies fair renowned ! 
Each dauntless warrior feared no foti 

He'd doff his coat of mail ; 
For the devil a soul could stand his blow 

When he sharped his steel with ale. 

Singing, Ale, all ale I &c. 


4 1 8 In Praise of Ale. 

Queen Bess was in her glory quite 

To see her yeomen bold ; 
For they fed on beef, and drank all night 

Deep draughts of the brown ale old ! 
O give me none of your water men. 

With their faces lank and pale ! 
For the boys that can cut and come again 

Must quaff whole butts of ale. 

Singing, Ale, all ale ! 6cc. 

Hurrah ! what a sight is the tankard bright 

When the sun is glowing hot ! 
A pound for a pull of the cool delight. 

And three cheers for a foaming pot ! 
'Tis a fountain of joy in seasons all ; 

'Tis hope when your prospects fail ; 
For the heart can never droop or kW 

When its blood's well warmed with ale ! 
Singing, Ale, all ale ! &c. 

This Knight Sir John is a rare old cove. 

Quite honest in his way ; 
And many a maid he's coaxed to love 

On a Christmas holiday. 
He bids the tender bosom bum, 

And Cupid's darts prevail ; 
Oh, a fine brave soul is Barleycorn ; 

Let us pledge him now in ale ! 

Singing, Ale, all ale ! &c. 

So prate no more of your cognac, 
Nor your teeming skins of wine ; 

Let me of ** heavy " have my whack, 
I'll never once repine ! 

Local and Dialect Songs. 419 

IM meet the deril in the dark. 

And cut his swinging tail ; 
And quench of brimstone every spark — 

Why, we'll drown him in good ale ! 

Singing, Ale, all ale ! &c. 

The Cockneys may boast of their porter fame, 

And deem their ** stout " divine ; 
But they never can claim the glorious name. 

Of the ale on the banks of Tyne ! 
Like that fine stream— clear, old, and good — 

It was never known to fail ; 
Nay, kings have enriched their regal blood 

By draughts of Newcastle ale ! 

Singing, Ale, all ale ! &c. 

So now, my brave boys, my song is done. 

Come listen to my toast : 
'* May every one who loves the iun 

Contrive to rule the roast I 
May trade in every form increase ; 

May commerce spread her sail ! 
May fortune crown the brow of peace;" 

Hurrah ! for the good old ale ! 

Singing, Ale, all ale ! &c. 

Thomas Marshall, another Newcastle celebrity, gave the fol- 
lowing good advice to his son in or about the year 1829. The 
teaching is sound, though somewhat prosy — tempered, however, 
with a slight love of beer and tobacco. 

Roi Hobson's Advice tiv his Son. 

ji RccUaibuH, 

Rob Hobson sat before the fire, 
An* puffed his baccy smoke, 
A pictor ov a gud awd sire. 

That can give or tyek a joke ; 

2 D 2 

420 In Praise of Ale. 

He puff'd away, luck'd wisely roond, 

Wink'd slyly at young Dan, 
Then like a mortal, wisdom croon'd. 

Thus tiv his son began : 

Maw canny lady yeVe noo arrived 

At a wild unsartin age, 
So wi' roe tung awVe just contrived, 

A lesson worth a sage — 
Luck forward te the sunny side. 

The dark side scarcely scan, 
An* niver deel wi' dirty pride, 

If ye want te be a man. 

Tyek a' advice thit ye an get. 

Turn not yor heed away, 
Or let foaks put ye i' the pet, 

Wi* onnything they say, 
For informayshun myeks us wise, 

An' shows which way te steer ; 
Be careful — if ye want te rise. 

Be canny wi' the beer. 

Keep close yor mooth ! watch weel yor words ; 

Afor ye let them oot, 
For thowtless speeches myek discords. 

An' puts foaks sair aboot ; 
Keep passion always fiae yor door, 

Send selfish thowts away. 
An' nivor let foaks chawk a score 

Ye thmk ye cannet pay! 

Let honesty yor motto be, 

Mark weel these words aw say, 

For if thor worth ye dinnet see, 
Yell mebbies rue the day ; 

Local and Dialect Songs. 42 1 

Save up te thriTCy mind weel yor peoae. 

Put not yor daes in pawn. 
But keq> them oot, yorael te mensey 

Thorns nyen fits like yor awn ! 

Dinnet tell lees, sick ackshuns tconiy 

Unworthy ov a man, 
Let truth as pure as ye war bom. 

For iTor be yer plan ; 
Stick close to frinds that yeVe fund true, 

Strite-forwardy kind, an' free ; 
Do nowt te myek you conshuns rucy 

An' a ^ happy man " yell be! 

Here is another local ditty, written in the native dialect by 
Robert Anderson : — 

Our EUek likes fat bacon weel. 

And haver-bannock pleases Dick ; 
A cowd-lwerd meks lal Wully fain, 

And cabbish aye turns Philip sick ; 
Our deame's for gurdle-cake and tea. 

And Betty's aw for thick pez keale ; 
Let ilk yen hncy what they wuU, 

Still my delight is good Strang yell. 

I ne'er had rouckle, ne'er kent want. 

Ne'er wrang'd a neybor, frien*, or kin ; 
My wife and bairns biun aw I prize — 

There's music i' their varra din : 
I labour suin, I labour leate. 

And chearfu' eat my humble meal ; 
My weage can feed and dead us aw, 

And whiles affords me good Strang yelL 

What's aw the warl' widout content ? 

Wi' that and health roan can't be peer ; 
We suin slip off frae frien's and foes. 

Then whea but fuils wud feight for gear ; 

422 In Praise rf Ale. 

But kings and consols gowks may fratch ; 

For me I scworn to vex mysel. 
But laugh at courts and owre-grown knaves, 

When I've a hush o' good Strang yell. 

The Newcastle ballad which follows shows the fate which befel 
Remus, who tried surreptitiously to learn the temperature of 
Vincent's worts. The ballad is in the Catnach style, and headed 

Thb Fox Caught in a Brewhouse ; or, Honesty the Best 


A New Edition Correaed. 

Tune — ^ Good-Morrow to your Nightcap." 

Oh 1 listen to my sad mishap, 

While joking is in season ; 
They've caught Old Renny in a trap, 

And him depriv'd of reason. 
'Twas just behind the barley mow. 
The foaming gile he chanc'd to view, 
" If beer like Vincent's I could brew, 

I'd have a roaring trade, man ! " 

Out of a window oft he'd stretch 

His nose abune the steam, man ; 
But found the gile beyond his reach. 

So hit upon a scheme, man : 
To know the heats it was his wish. 
So in the gile he thought to fish. 
And that wad be a dainty dish 

For him, and nyen wad brew, man. 

Like fox in fable oft he look'd. 

But found he couldn't come at her. 
At last for fourteen bob he hook'd 

A second-hand thermometer. 
He &sten'd to its end a cord. 
Then let the thbg right ower-board, 
Sj^ne drew her up without a word, 

Ne'er luikin for a bite, man. 

Local and Dialect Songs. 423 

The brewer often fand his vat 

Disturb'd, so chose to watch 'im ; 
For, by-the-bye, he smelt a rat. 

If only he could catch him. 
He came as soft as he could crawl, 
And saw the cord hang down the wall, 
Then made a cut — but after all. 

It got from him away^ man. 

" Now hang," says he, ** I'm fairly up 

To Renny's sly intention." 
So stapled down a spring fox-trap, 

But ne'er a word did mention. 
Then to the window went himsel'. 
And saw exactly where it fell ; 
^ This scheme," says he, ^ must answer well ; 

I'll catch him, never fear, man ! " 

'Twas on a Sunday morning fine. 

When people were at prayers, man. 
He came and straight threw in his line 

Not dreading traps nor snares, man ; 
The line he found grew hellish tight, 
*Twas nick or else a strong bite. 
Away he ran in great affright. 

And ne'er was heard of mair, man. 

J. Rayson, the Cumberland poet, wrote in praite of Joe 
Iiedale's yel of the High Brewery, Carlisle, and is still uaed by 
the worthy proprietor of that fiinx>ua establishment. It deab t 
blow at thoee so-called brewers who trust to drugs instead of 
malt and hops, and so far chimes in with the remarks I made 
elsewhere : — 

Let Englishmen brag o' their rum frae Jamaica, 
The French o' their brandy, auld port, or champagne ; 
The Scotchman may trump up his sense-stealing whisky, 
A flame to the stomach, a thief to the brain. 

424 In Praise of Ale. 

Scotch, talk as ye will o' yer sure-killiDg puzzen. 
And tell o' its yirtues o' bearing the bell ; 
But give me a bottle to cull my |>arch'd throttle, 
A soul-stirring draught o' Joe Iredale's yel. 

Yon lal strutdn' puppy, the vain dandy brewer, 

May praise round the country his drug water wash ; 

But now it's weel known he's the king of aw leers, 

And his physic yel is the vilest o' trash. 

But Joe's yel, like brandy, needs nae yen to trump it — 

Just caw for a quart, it will speak for itsel ; 

In spirits 'twill raise you, but ne'er meek ye crazy. 

For malt is the drug o' Joe Iredale's yel. 

If ye be a lover, and want words to tell her, 
Ye'd speak a fresh tongue wid a drop in yer e'e ; 
Or should ye e'en differ by teasdn' this liquor, 
A pot o' Joe's best will suin meek ye agree. 
Twill cure, like magic, aw macks o' disorders. 
E'en some that has capt our auld doctor his sel ; 
Our priest, in his sarmin, paints sin mair alarmin 
When he is half full o' Joe Iredale's yel. 

Speaking of local customs and local drinks, the following, 
written by a correspondent in an early number of Notes and 
Queries^ may be interesting. It is a novel drink, and should be 
strengthening and tonic in its effects. There is nothing new under 
the sun, though we have seen of late years beef-wme, and meat 
and malt extracts advertised and vaunted as the greatest novelty 
and finest nostrum ever brought out. 

Meat and Malt : ^ Morocco." 

^ I was present some time since at a conversation in Cumberland, 
when 1 drink peculiar to a place called Leven's Hall, in that 
county, the seat, I believe, of a branch of the Carlisle femily, was 
mentioned, and described as exceedingly strong ale, in the brewing 
of which beef or meat was introduced. Having repeated this to 

Local and Dialect Songs. 425 

some friends a short time nnce, considerable doubts were expressed 
as to the probability or possibility of combining meat with malt 
and hopSy and I consequently wrote to some friends in the north, 
but have only been able to get the following account : ** Morocco 
is the name of the drink ; it is brewed at LevenSy near Milnthorp, 
from a recipe found wrapped up in lead near an evergreen in the 
old garden. Flesh is certainly introduced, as I believe it to be 
in the Durham University strong beer. The exact recipe for 
brewing morocco is kept strictly secret. There is a legend that 
the secret was brought by a Crusader Howard, and during the 
civil warB buried where it was found as above some years ago. 
Helpless, truly, is the state of that man who stoops to drink 
inferior liquor after imbibing the mighty morocco. It is almost 
dark, pours like oil, and tastes mild as milk in its treachery." 

LicHnELD Ale. 

Here, Tapster, My Old Anno Domini Broach. 

We have a fine example of the virtues of jolly good ale and old, 
in the case of that old rascal, Boni^ce, who appears and dis- 
appears in Farquhar's *' Beaux's Stratagem," act L, scene 1 , iemp. 
1 707. He was a consummate scoundrel, yet on this occasion no 
one would venture to question his veracity, whilst his description 
of good ale is perfect : — 

Boniface. Sir, I liave now in my cellar ten tun of the best ale 
in Staffordshire ; 'tis smooth as oil, sweet as milk, clear as amber, 
and strong as brandy, and will be just fourteen jrears old the fifth 
day of next March, old style. 

AsmwelL You're very exact, I find, in the age of your ale. 

Boniface. As punctual, sir, as I am in the age of my children. 
rU show you such ale ! Here, tapster, broach number 1 706, 
as the saying is. Sir, you shall taste my Anno Domini. I have 
lived in Lichfield, man and boy, above cight-and-fifty years, and 
I believe I have not consumed eight-and-fifty ounces of meat. 

jftmweU, At a meal you mean, if one may guess your sense 
by your bulk. 

426 In Praise of Ale. 

Boniface. Not in my life, dr. I have fed purely upon ale ; i 
have eat my ale, drank my ale, and always sleep upon ale. Now, 
sir, you shall see [^ pours out a glass']. Your worship's health. 
Ha ! delicious, delicious ! Fancy it Burgundy — only fancy it — 
and 'tis worth ten shillings a quart I 

jfhnwell. [^drinis] Tis confounded strong ! 

Boniface. Strong ! It must be so, or how should we be strong 
that drink it ? 

The foregoing dialogue has been versified in the following 
stanzas ; but, unfortunately, the tune, like those of very many of 
our good old ballads, has been lost, mislaid, or worn out : — 

Here, tq>ster, my old jinno Domini broach, 

Just fourteen years old — you may credit my tale ; 

Its virtues can none in the country approach, 
Youll own when you've tasted a tankard of ale. 

In Lichfield full fifty-eight years, man and boy. 
Has old Boniface liv'd ever hearty and hale ; 

For his eating, his drinking, his business, his joy, 
Have all been confin'd to a tankard of ale. 

Tis snsoother than oil, and no milk is so sweet. 

Yet, like brandy, it's strong, I'll go bail ; 
No amber more clear — faith, you'll own it a Qrat 

To take with old Boni a tankard of ale. 

My poor wife, as dead as the saying is — ah ! 

On life till this moment she had not turn'd tail, 
Had she copied from me ; but she drank usquebaugh, 

While I was content with a tankard of ale. 


The following versicle from " Poor Robin," temp. 1 676, refers 
to the high jinks which were periodically held, amongst other 
placet, at the ale bin of merrie Islington and Holloway, which 

Local and Dialect Songs. 42 7 

were at one time two veiy remote tuburbe of the great city. 
Holloway was, and, we may add, is still, famous for the ex- 
cellence of its cakes, and very properly so. 

At Islington a fair they hold. 
Where cakes and ale are to be sold ; 
At Highgate, and at Holloway 
The like is kept here every day ; 
At Totnam Court and Kentish Town, 
And all those places up and down. 

Doet thou think because thou ait virtuous there shall be no 
more cakes and ale ? 

Yea, by Saint Anne ; and ginger shall be hot i' the mouth 

Considering that Burton has of late ytan become the head 
centre of the brewing trade, owing to its natural advantages in the 
way of water, which has the peculiar property of retaining what- 
ever saccharine may be put into it in solution for any length of 
time without undergoing those chemical changes which usually 
take place in spring or river waters; and seeing the enormous 
celebrity of the ale, one would naturally look to find its fiime 
celebrated in song more than it has been. This is the best I 
have found at present. It is quoted in Dr Bushnan's ^ History 
of Burton Ale,*' but it is not stated whether the song is original 
or select. 

Burton Alb. 

What can avail like the fine old ale. 

The heart's best blood renewing ? 
But such good cheer must come firom the beer— 

The beer of Burton brewing. 

Some croaking folks declared as t hoax, 

*Tis poison up to the brink ; 
But strange to say, these doctors alway 

Dive deep in the self-same drink. 

428 In Praise of Ale. 

A terrible tale, from Java's vale. 

Some tray'lers love to repeat ; 
An upas tree, they say, you may see, 

Pois'ning that dreary retreat. 

The air, and the ground, and ail around 

Are wrapped in the arms of death ; 
And beasts of prey, and the birds they say, 

Drop dead at its slightest breatli. 

And the chemist's skill, it doth distil 

Death drops from this deadly tree ; 
" 'Tis strychnine ! '* they cry, "and all will die 

Who drink pale ale mernlie. 

" 'Tis that imparts the flavour tart. 

Found alone in bitter beer ; 
Oh I let it not pass ; there's death in the glass, 

Tho' it sparkles bright and clear. 

" Silence, good folks ! don't play off your jokes ; 

Prithee, be just and explain. 
How years go by, and men do not die 

Who drink it, and drink again. 

" Take common sense, let science go hence ! 

Vm old, yet ne'er will I fail 
To drink while I may — night, noon, and day — 

A bumper of Burton ale." 

Sir Walter Scott, m ** Ivanhoe," refers to Burton ale as being 
famous prior to the reign of Richard I., and an authentic docu- 
ment quoted by Mr Molyneux, the historian of Burton, speaks of 
a grant of '' conventual beer " made by the abbott convent of 
Burton. The words of Hotspur, in Henry IV., 

Methinks my moiety of Burton here 
In quantity equals not one of yours, 

Local and Dialect Songs. 429 

naye been ingeniously constnied by tome into t reference to the 
berenge of the town. 

On the same authority we find that ^ Athelstane remembered 
the Abbot of St. Withhold's good ale.** (For Burton was 
already famous for that genial liquor.) ^ In my mind we had 
better turn back and bide with the Abbott until the afternoon. 
It is unlucky to travel where your path is crossed by a monk, t 
hare, or a howling dog, until yon have eaten your next meal." 

Somerville, in his poem of ** The KCser's Speech," shows how 
the cockles of the old man's heart warmed overnight under the 
nfluence of Burton, though in the morning he recaUed his 
mortgages at 6 per cent., and re-issued them at 1 o per cent. : — 

Thus spoke old Gripe when botdes three 
Of Burton ale unlocked his breast. 

Resolved to be 
A generous, honest, country squire. 

The brewery of AUsopp 8c Co. is traditionally said to be 
** so old that no one ever heard of its having a beginning. The 
very land it stood upon was freehold, and that made it out to 
be older than the Abbey." This view is confirmed by the 
following gem : — 

In a low mountain vale that's refreshed by the gale. 

Where the Abbey of Burton once stood, 
A brew-house delights the wanderer's sight. 

For, believe me, the tipple is good, 
How the monks in their day must have swigged it away. 

Oh I they let not a mouthful escape, 
Till their cheeks, I suppose, in an afternoon's doze. 

Were as purple and plump as the grape. 

Tol, lol. 

Were as purple and plump as the grape. 

The next exquisite morceau is from the pen of t local 
poetaster. The artist has evidently put in high lights in the 
way of colour. 

430 In Praise of Ale. 

This ale must come from Allsopp's vat. 

It is so bright and mellow ; 
There's none but he can brew like that — 

Oh I he's a famous fellow 1 
Such ale as this, wherever sought. 

None other could invent, sirs ! 
HTis only brewed, 'tis only bought, 

At Burton-upon-Trent, sirs. 

The doctors may boast of their lotions. 

Old women delight in their tea ; 
But I scorn all such rubbishing potions : 

A glass of old Burton for me ! 
Let the faculty sneer as it pleases. 

My recipe never can fail ; 
The nepenthe that cures all diseases 

Is a bumper of Allsopp's prime ale. 

Burton ale was first introduced into London as Darbie ale, 
18 it was transferred to that town en route for London, and no doubt 
tampered with on the journey by the process known as << sucking 
the monkey." The cost of transit also was a great drawback to 
its general adoption, before Brindsley had intersected the country 
with his system of canals, or the Trent Navigation Act was 
passed and carried out. The ale, however, seems to have got 
into disfavour with certain writers about the end of the seventeenth 
century, if we may judge from a pamphlet published in 1 699, 
entitled " The Sot's Paradise ; or Humours of a Derby Ale- 
house, with a Satyr upon the Ales." The verses will not 
bear reprinting in extenso^ but extracts will suffice : — 

When anxious thoughts my troubled brains possest. 
And the wild hag rid straggling o'er my breast. 
Loaded with sorrow I pursu'd my rest. 

To ease my cares I sturobl'd into Ray's, 
Sot' Paradise, so famed of latter days ; 
For Derby ale it bears away the bays. 

Local and Diakct Songs. 43 1 

Through stumbling craggy ways the godly steal 
To heaven, where I concluded, without fail. 
This narrow path must lead to heavenly ale. 

In comes a female tapstress pale and wan» 
Sodd'n with fumes of what she'd drank and drawn, 
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 

Sir, do you please, I pray, to have your ale 
Drawn new or with a little dash of stale ? 
I gave her answer, and she soon tum'd tail. 

One sage old bard next chimney nook was got, 
Fix'd as a statue motionless he sat. 
His eyes regarding neither who or what. 

This speechless image I did most admire — 
No Derby could this mortal lump inspire — 
Who, like old puss, sat purring o'er the fire. 

Then in thrusts one, strives hard to get a place, 
Witty in words, and satyr in his face. 
Thus boldly speaks in Derby ale's disgrace. 

Pop on't, said he, I yesterday stept in. 

And drank nine tankards to divert my spleen ; 

It fail'd, and now I come to drink nineteen. 

At Squires' I heard a beau so damn and sink it, 

Four tankards numb'd his wits — you wou'd not think it — 

He swore we all were clod-skull'd sots who drink it 

With me this smoky clime did not agree ; 
These sots too grave were, that's too dull for me ; 
No talk is worse than much loquacity. 

After a description of the various frequenters of Ray's, their 
siyings and doings, the author noticed : — 

The ale at last to these weak noddles stole. 
Supplied the want of brains in every skull, 
And made them merry, tho' it made me dull 

43^ ^ Praise of Ale. 

I teas'd and dred with this bear-garden phy. 

In doleful dumps did for ten tankards pay. 

And sicky not drunk, I homewards steer'd my way. 

No wonder the sots got fuddled when we read the quantity of 
Derby which they put away at one sitting. The pamphlet closes 
with the following 

Satyb. upon Derby Ai£. 

Base and ignoble flegm, dull Derby ale. 
Thou canst o'er none but brainless sots prevail ? 
Chokes them if new, and sowr art if stale. 

Thou drown*8t no care, or dost thou elevate ; 
Instead of quenching drouth, dost drouth create ; 
Makes us dull sots at an expensive rate. 

Old English ale, which upstart fops disdain, 
Brew'd by our grandsires, cheered the heart of man, 
Quench'd drouth with pleasure, and prolong'd their span. 

But thou, poor slime 1 thou art not ale, for why ? 
Thou neither cheares the heart nor brisks the ejt : 
The more we drink the more we still are dry. 

Rare ^t'ning swill, to belly up lean guest, 

It feeds a man in six months to a beast. 

And gives him bulk for a churchward'n at least. 

PufTd up with thee, dispirited, debased. 

We into Gray's Inn reel — O pump be prais'd I — 

There quench that drouth thy treacly dregs have rais'd. 

O'er nipperkins of thee six hours I sit, 
Till spent my total, and benum'd my wit. 
Thus nothing have, and just for nothing fit 

Local and Dialect Songs. 433 

Our ways or thoughts thou nerer canst advance 
Above the affairs of Poland or of France ; 
Wounds ! thou'rt a booby to a cup of Nantes. 

Thou'rt fit for those who are from troubles finec j 
Thou cuPst no spleen, thou art unfit for me : 
Pd's lieve almost drink Adam's ale as thee. 

Thou mak'st us fat in little time, 'tis true. 
The same will swine's flesh and potatoes do ; 
They cover flesh, not brains, that follow you. 

Thou noble ale ! there caudle and unfit 
For men of care to drink, or men of wit. 
Poor English coffee for a plodding cit. 

Guzzle for carmen, foggy and unfine, 
For nothing fit but to exhaust your coin. 
Water to brandy, and small beer to wine. 

Forgive my drowsy muse where o'er she nods, 

She's not inspiHd or tutor'd by the gods ; 

She rhimes o'er ale, others o'er wine, that's odds. 

What if you say he's dull, it's no great matter, 
Cross muddy ale's a heavy theanie for satyr ; 
Tom Brown be judge, or honest Ben Bridgewater. 

The unkindest cut of all against Darby ale occurs in the fol- 
lowing dialogue, which was at one time popular, and still gives t 
picture of the manners of the period at which it was written. It 
is rather long, but our forefathers ** loved a richt guid crack." 
The reader will judge which of the wordy disputants got the 
best of the encounter which culminated in a " cussing " match. 

2 £ 

434- In Praise 0^ Ale. 

A. Dialogue between Claret and Darby Ale. 

A poem considered id an accidental conyereation between two 
gentlemen. Printed for E. Richardson, 1691. 

Two gentlemen meeting on Ludgate Hill. 

lit Gentleman, Welcome from the country, dear Harry; what 
an affliction has your absence been to your friends, who have 
hardly enjoyed one pleasant hour since you left us. 

ind Gentleman. And 1 as few minutes. They may talk what 
they will of the diversions of the country, as hawking, hunting, 
selling, coursing &c. ; there's no true, solid pleasure like a town 
life. Half-a-dozen honest friends, and as many refi^eshing bottles 
of genuine wine, is a pleasure which the country cannot parallel. 

1st G. Pardon me there, sir ; the very pleasure you speak of 
you may enjoy to full as much perfection in the country as you 
can in the town. 

tnd G. You would be of another opinion. Will, if you knew 
what was my usual company: to-day a couple of noisy knights 
talking of nothing but taxes and politics; to-morrow three or 
four insipid squires discoursing their horses and dogs as Crop and 
Dapple, Jowler, Rockwood, Ringwood, and Bowman; two or 
three days after an old country justice, with five or six rich 
yeomen, confounding the Gazettee and public newspapers with 
their senseless commentaries. But what need I say more — are 
not these, think you, very agreeable converse ? I am as glad I 
come again to this dear town as an Englishman who has been six 
months prisoner at St Maloes is to see his native country once 

I// G. Then you reckon your coming to town just as the 
Jews did their return from the land of captivity ? 

md G. Well, let the Jews be in captivity or out of captivity, 
I care not ; but this discourse edifies no more than the relation of 
the new lights to a blmd man: I am for more substantial doctrine. 
Besides, I hate standing in the street — it looks like men of 

Local and Dialed Songs. 435 

basDeM, and those fellows, you know, are my mott particttkr 
ayersoD. Let me see, what tayern are we near ? where we may 
meet with a glass of old racy geDerous wine, such as the gods 
drink when they're a-dry, for I am resolyed not to part with you 
till we have refresht our understandings to such a pitch that we 
shall be as witty as poets, as wise as statesmen, and as religious as 
the council of Trent. What sayst thou, my lad, ha ? 

lit G. I think, Harry, you need not the additional help of the 
bottle, for you talk as briskly aheady as if you were inspired. 
What think you to a dish of settlebrain ? 

mJ G. Coffee, I suppose you mean P No, no. Will, I never 
think on't at all ; J have about twenty actions against that and 
snudl beer. Prithee, no more of that sober discourse, but to the 
matter in hand: whither shall we go, to the George or the Three 
Tuns ? You know 'em both, Pm sure. 

lit G. Yes, as I did Mrs — you know who, about four ytxn 
ago. Faith, she was t pretty familiar girl 'till she pracds'd 
jilting, and then you are sensible 'tis high time to quit her. 

tmJ G, Why ? Have they disoblig'd you lately by drawing 
bad wine ? 

lit G, No, never to my knowledge. To tell you the plain 
truth, Harry, I drink no wine; and I think the enmity between 
us is so great that I fear we shall not be friends again. 

2mJ G. Then I come in a very lucky minute to reconcile you. 
Come, we will drink one compounding bottle of daret, and see 
if we can bring matters to an accommodation. 

lit G, I'll as soon drink one bottle of aquafortis. Besides, 
you're deceiv'd if you think to find claret in town. I will not 
say but there may be such liquor; but a town jilt never went by 
more names than claret does now. In one place it is Barcelona, 
in another Navarre, here Syracuse, and there St Sebastian ; but 
the general name they give it is Red Port. 

2mJ G, Let 'em give it as many names as the Mogul has titles, 
1 care not ; come, come, you shall drink one bottle with me. 

lit G, Indeed, you must excuse me, Harry, for I swear I will 
not drink one drop of wine. 

tnd G, One may guess as much by your ember-week com- 

2 c 3 

43^ In Praise of Ale. 

plexion. You know I hate to press upon my friends too much. 
What, then, will you drink ? or what is your belov*d liquor ? 
for I am resolv'd we part no more with dry lips than half-a-dozen 
fanatics formerly met together could part without railing at the 

I// G. Truly, my ordinary liquor is the product of our own 
country — good, nappy, well-brewed ale; bat when I would 
regale my sense and treat my palate 'tis generally with a pint or 
two of Nottingham or Darby. 

2nd G. Ha, ha, ha ! Ale, quoth you ! A man of thy sense 
and drink such foggy, unedifying stuff? But we will not here 
descend into the merits of the cause. Come, I have found out 
an expedient will please us both ; let's go to the Wonder within 

the Gate, and I doubt not that honest Ned B s will furnish 

us with liquors both good in their kinds — ^you with your Darby 
and me with my claret. 

lit G. Agreed. The house stands rarely well for a trade. 

trui G. And no doubt it has it. Sirrah drawer ! bid your 
master Jbring us up a bottle of Darby and a half-flask of the best 
red he has in his cellar. 

I// G. Now we are set, dear Harry, let's have a short account 
of some country intrigues of thine; an assignation in a bam may, 
for variety's sake, please as well as at a lady's lodgings in Pell 


2fu/ G. Something may be done after a dozen glasses or so; 
but you shall first oblige me with some piece of wit, sat3rr, or 
lampoon, for I know you have been very happy in procuring 
things of that nature. 

lit G, Faith, the town has been very dull this vacation; but 
this morning I met a friend who gave me a paper of verses which 
he said pleas'd him. I have not had so much leisure as to read 
a line of 'em yet; but here they are, and I wish they may be 

2nd G, They will, no doubt. Wit is sometimes as agree- 
able over a glass, and relishes as well as a neat's tongue or a dish 
of anchovies. Bless me ! 'tis the very subject we could have 
wisht for — a dialogue between claret and Darby ale. If the 

Local and Dialect Songs. 437 

author manages his subject well, we shall have difersioD enough 
though, no doubt ; but before we read it well take half-4i-dozen 
glasses apiece to the memory of our absent friends. 

lit G. With all my heart; and then, I hope, the poem will 
atone for the dulness of my company. 

znd G, No compliments, Will ; but now to the business. 

A Dialogue betweem Claret and Daut Alb : 

A kind of JEsop's fable in yerse. 

j1 half'fiaik of Claret stamSng an the table ; a hdile of Darhy 
enters and placet hinuelf vtithm half-a^jard ofhkm^ at which 
affront the Claret^ m a passion^ speaks \reads'\ : — 

Claret. What slave art thou, impertinent and rude, 

That dares upon my privacies intrude ? 

Speak quickly, wretch, and tell me who thou art. 

Thy business too, or instantly depart. 
Darby, Good words will breed no blisters on the tongue. 

To call me slave or wretch you do me wrong ; 

If you provoke me, I perhaps can show 

As much of birth and pedigree as you ; 

For by your poor straw jacket 'tis as phun 

As by your questions you're no gentleman. 
Claret. Ill-judging fool, who doth by outsidet guett, 

And value things by their appearances ; 

My quality I may in time disclose. 

But till I know your name we must be foes. 
Darby. Since choler o'er your reason doth prevail, 

ril humour you — my name is Darby Ale. 
Claret. Your servant ; are you, then, that mighty sir 

Who have so lately made so great a stir ? 

You and your cousin-german Nottingham 

Had so engrost the breath of airy fame 

That all the coffee-houses of the town 

Did you their tutebry angel own : 

438 Tn Praise of Ale. 

Nay, more, your boldness grew to such a height 
That yoa presume at last to iovade my right. 

[Well said, old straw bottle, there's an action good in law, 
and faith I'll lay twenty pounds thou carryest it.^ 

Darby, My country breeding is, I must confess. 
As yet not polisht with a fine address : 
I know no wrong I've done ; but tazt by you, 
Tis fit your name and quality I knew. 
That I may either vindicate the action 
Or else submit and give you satisfaction. 

ClareL Spoke like a spark ; but since I stoop so low 
To let thy little self my title know. 
Prepare thy ears, and tremble when you hear it, 
I am the most immortal liquor Claret, 
Sent down to be a charm fi^r mortal cares. 
Son of the sun and brother of the stars. 

[That's a line I have read in some play or other ; but, how- 
ever, 'tis well enough applyed here.] 

Darby, I'm glad I know you, high and mighty sir ; 
Think you your pompous empty name could stir 
My choler ? No ! your title makes me fear 
As much as if you'd been six-shilling beer 

Claret. Thou son of earth, thou dull insipid thing. 
To level me, who am of liquors king, 
With lean small beer ! But that thou art not worth 
My anger, else I'd frown thee into earth. 

Darby. I neither fear your fix)wn nor court your smile ; 
But if I'm not mistaken all this while. 
By other names than Claret you are known. 

Claret. You do not hear me, sir, the fact disown ; 
Some call me Barcelona, some Navar, 
Some Syracuse ; but at the vintner's bar 
My name's Red Port. But call me what they will, 
Claret I am, and will be Claret still. 

Local and Dialect Songs. 439 

Darby, So needy sparks by several names are known : 
It argues knavery to have more than one. 
None knows in private what the vintners do. 
But there's some roguery hatcht between you two, 
Those sons of Bacchus else could never hold. 
Why, there's more wine by name of Claret sold 
One month in London than a man can guess 
To be the product of three vintages. 

[i// G. Then I think he is pretty even with him, for the 
vintners do certainly play the devil in their cellars ; and therefore 
'twas no ill joke when a brewer's servant, meeting a vintner of his 
acquaintance, bid him '' Good morning, brother brewer." 

ind G. You have heard the plaintiff, and 'twould be unfair not 
to hear the defendant too. Let me read on.] 

Claret, Offspring of elements and grains, forbear. 
And press not too inquisitively near 
Our mysteries ; for 'tis not fit, you know. 
What my old friend the vintner and I do^ 
What racks and tortures here I undergo- 
That 'tis for my amendment done I know. 
And I appear all fine at jovial club. 

Darby, As flaxing sinner rose from sweating tub, 
This diff 'rcnce only lies between you two- 
He is by mercury cur'd, by brimstone you. 

[i// G, There, I think old Darby has given him a home 
thrusL Come, here's one health of remembrance to all friends in 
the north for that joke's sake. 

2nd G, 'Tis a rude kind of jest, tho' — just like his breeding. 
But I'll read on.] 

Claret, Dull slave, thy empty foolish puns fi^rbear. 
Know that more virtue in this flask I bear. 
To cheer the blood and make the spirits quicker. 
Than is in tuns of thy insipid liquor. 

Darby, What mighty difference lies between us two ? 
I warm the blood as much, or more, than you. 

440 In Praise of Ale. 

Claret, Yoa warm the blood ! You put it in a flame. 
While I with gentle fire just heat the same. 
What man with thee one evening's brunt has stood 
But rose with aching head and feverish blood ? 
Whereas my friends could no such symptoms mark, 
But rose next morning cheerful as the lark* 

Darhy. Could you examine Pluto's weekly bill. 

You'd find, amongst those crowds his caverns fill. 
Forty by drinking wine that thither came 
For one by Darby ale and Nottingham. 

Claret. Are you his register, so well you know 
The state of the departed souls below ? 
I thought that secret had belonged to Fate, 
But fools of things above them sometimes prate. 

Darby. Since you are mov'd, we'll choose another theme, 
My want of spirits sure you won't condemn. 
I warm the blood, and doctors all agree 
When that is brisk the spirits must be free. 

Claret, With smileless jests and far-fetcht repartee, 
For sure no other wit was caused by thee. 
The blood indeed you warm with poysnous ^^ 
But I yet never heard you could inspire, 
Except some Smithfield poets, when they write 
And sad and lamentable songs indite ; 
For I have heard, when liberal draughts of thee 
Have warm'd the brains that kept thee company, 
Such senseless strains pass currently for wit 
As Irish tongue ne'er spoke nor SafT — Id writ ; 
Whereas the friends that hug me every night 
(Not measuring time by hours, but by delight) 
Are men of sense, deep judgment, fancy, wit ; 
When they 'bout me in consultation sit. 
Each glass creates some pretty virgin thought 
Which but for me had ne'er to light been brought ; 
For poets, lawyers, orators confess 
Their words appear in the most charming dress 
When they of me have took a plenteous glass ; 
If this be^true, faith I Darby, thou'rt an ass. 

Local and Dialect Stmgs. 44 1 

Darby, How stnmgely you iD8alt and domineer ; 
You're foreign bom, and I a native here : 
I thought French breeding was more civilizM. 

Claret. You scoundrel dog, am I not nat'raliz'd ? 
The greatest part o' th' nation own my juice. 
While they with justice foggy ale refuse. 

Darby. But Acu of Parliament 'gainst you are made. 

Claret. What seem'd to crush has but advanc'd my trade. 

Darby. Then you, it seems (so very great your sense is). 
Are above law as saints 'bove ordinances ; 
But, there may come a time — 

Claret. When you shall be 

Loaded uith shame, disgrace, and in£uny. 
Back to thy native soyl return again, 
While I my grandeur and my pomp maintain ; 
Thy credit's clearly lost about the town. 
And none but red-nos'd sots thy power own. 
Else in Gazette and advertisements you 
Would ne'er have begg'd for custom : is this true ? 

Darby. Perhaps it may, perhaps it may be not. 
May racking gouts, pains, aches be the lot 
Of him that drinks thee ; may he be more curst 
With fev'rish heau and an eternal thirst. 
Till raving madness him of sense bereaie ! 
So with these hearty prayers I take my leave. 

Claret. What 1 angry. Darby ? Nay, before you go 
Pray be so kind as hear my wishes too : 
May rheums, defluxions, catarrh light upon 
Thy favourites ; but chiefly let the stone 
Oppress them so that in their fits they may, 
To go to hell for ease, devoutly pray; 
May palsies rack their joynts, sharp pains their heads. 
And not one part about their bodies freed 
From misery ! And so farewell, old Darby, 
Bom at the Peak, or at the devil's house, hard by. 


44* J^ Praise of Ale. 

\jind G. What think you now. Will, who has got the better 
on't ? 

I// G. They seem'd to be pretty equally matcht; but I 
believe the poet loves claret, he seems to be so favourable to that 

2nd G. He's much in the right on\ for faith. Will, the ale 
you drink is a most fulsome liquor. Let me feel your pulse. 
Lord, how hot 3rou are ! and your hct looks as red as a moon 
m eclipse. I'm resolved to undertake thy converaon and bring 
thee over to the faith again ; and to-morrow we'll dine at the 
Rammer, in Queen Street, and swim in claret. 

lit G. I begin to be a little sensible of my mistake ; but since 
I am under no vow, wager, or obligation, for once I venture upon 
one pint to-nx>rrow, but it will be as cold and nauseous to me at 
first as the bitter draught to the children troubled with the 

2nd G. Never think on't. Let the first pint be what it will, 
the second shall absolutely recover thee from thy dangerous 
heresy. I am sorry, tho', we must part so soon ; but I have 
business in the city, and fear I have overstaid my time. 

lit G. I am sure I am not very fit for business of any sort ? 
this ale has got into my head. I'll go to the playhouse to keep 
myself out of bad company. 

2nd G. A pleasant thought.] [J?x//.] 

Notwithstanding all the disparagement of Darby, as evinced in 
the foregoing, there seems to have been strength in the liquor, 
judging of the efiect it had on the butcher after indulging with 
his lay and clerical friends. I have taken the ballad from 
Mr Llewellyn Jewitt's collection of << Songs and Ballads of 


The Drunkem Butches. of Tideswelu 

Oh, list to me, ye yeomen all, 
Who live in dale or down ; 

My song is of a butcher tall. 
Who lived in Tideswell town. 

Local and Dialect Songs. 443 

lo bluff King Harry's merry days 

He dew both sheep and kine. 
And drank his fill of nut-brown ale 

In lack of good red wine. 

Beade the church this butcher lived. 

Close to its gray old walls. 
And envied not, when trade was good. 

The baron in his halls. 
No carking cares disturbed his rest 

When off to bed he slunk ; 
And oft he snored for ten good hours. 

Because he got so drunk. 

One only sorrow quelled his heart. 

As well it might quell mine — 
The fear of sprites and grisly ghosts, 

Which dance in the moonshine, 
Or wander in the cold churchyard 

Among the dismal tombs ; 
Where hemlock blossoms in the day, 

By night the nightshade blooms. 

It chanced upon a summer's day. 

When heather bells were blowing. 
Bold Robin crossed o'er Tideswell moor, 

And heard the heath-cock crowing. 
Well mounted on a forest nag. 

He freely rode and fast ; 
Nor drew a rein 'till Sparrow Pit 

And Paislow Moss were past. 

Then slowly down the hill he came 

To the Chappelle-en-le-Frith, 
Where, at the Rose of Lancaster, 

He found his fnend the smith. 

444 t^ Praise of Ale. 

The panoo and the pardoner, too. 
There took their morning draught ; 

And when they spied a brother near 
They all came out and laughed. 

^ Now draw thy rein, thou jolly butcher ; 

How hi ha8t thou to ride V* 
** To Waylee Bridge, to Simon the tanner. 

To sell this good cow-hide." 
** Thou shalt not go one foot ayont 

'Till thou light and sup with me ; 
And when thou'st emptied thy measure of liquor 

m haye a measure wi' thee." 

** Oh no, oh no, thou drouthy smith, 

I cannot tarry to-day ; 
The wife she gave me a chaige to keep, 

And I durst not say her nay." 
** What likes o' that," said the parson then, 

«* If thou'st, thou'st ne'er to rue : 
Thou may'st keep thy pledge, and drink thy stoup. 

As an honest man e'en may do." 

^ Oh no, oh no, thou jolly parson, 

I cannot tarry, I say ; 
I was drunk last night, and if I tarry 

I'se be drunk again to-day." 
** What likes, what likes," cried the pardoner then, 

Why tellest thou that to me ? 
Thou may'st e'en get thee drunk this blessed night. 

And well shrived for both thou shalt be." 

Then down got the butcher from his horse, 

I wot full fain was he ; 
And he drank 'till the summer sun was set 

In that jolly company : 

Local and Dialect Songs. 445 

He drank 'till the tummer sun went down. 

And the stars began to thine ; 
And his greasy noddle was dazM and addle 

With the nut-brown ale and wine. 

Then up arose those four mad fellows^ 

And, joining hand in hand. 
They danced around the hostel floor. 

And sang, though they scarce could stand, 
** We've aye been drunk on yester night. 

And drunk the night before ; 
And sae we're drunk again to-night 

If we never get drunk any more." 

Bold Robin, the butcher, was horsed and away ; 

And a drunken wight was he ; 
For sometimes his blood-red eyes saw double, 

And then he could scantly see. 
The forest trees seemed to featly dance 

As he rode so swift along ; 
And the forest trees, to his 'wildered sense, 

Re-sang the jovial song. 

Then up he sped over Paislow Moss, 

And down by the Chamber Knowle ; 
And there he was scared into mortal fears 

By the hooting of a bam owl : 
And on he rode, by the Forest Wall, 

Where the deer browsed silently ; 
And up the Slack, 'till on Tideswell Moor 

His horpe stood fair and free. 

Just then the moon from behind the rack 

Burst out into open view ; 
And on the sward and purple heath 

Broad light and shadow threw. 

446 In Praise of Ale. 

And there the butcher, whose heart beat quick 

With fears of gramarye, 
Fast by his side, as he did ride, 

A foul phantom did espy. 

Uprose the fell of his head, uprose 

The hood which his head did shroud ; 
Aud all his teeth did chatter again ; 

And he cried both long and loud ; 
And his horse's flank with his spur he struck, 

As he never had struck before, 
And away he galloped. with might and main 

Across the barren moor. 

But ever as fast as the butcher rode 

The ghost did grimly glide — 
Now down on the earth before the horse, 

Then fast his rein beside ; 
O'er stock and rock and stone and pit. 

O'er hill and dale and down, 
THll Robin the butcher gained his door-stone 

In Tideswell's good old town. 

*' Oh, what thee ails, thou drunken butcher \ " 

Said his wife as he sank down ; 
And ** what thee ails, thou drunken butcher ? " 

Cried one half of the town. 
<* I have seen a ghost, it hath raced my horse 

For three good miles and more ; 
And it vanished within the churchyard wall 

As I sank down at the door." 

M Beshrew thy heart for a drunken beast! " 
Cried his wife as she held him there ; 

Beshrew thy heart for a drunken beast. 
And a coward with heart of hare. 

Local and Dialect Songs. 447 

No ghoct evened his wit with thine : 

The ghoct was thy shadow^ thou drunken wretch ! 
I would the ghost were mine." 

In another Derbyshire ballad, « The Cocktail Reel/' printed 
in the same collection, the following quatrain occurs — 

Oceans to drink bang called for. 
Hot cuddle-me-bufT was the liquor; 

Wife of my own Jemmy called for, 

Old Hannah cried, ** Stephen, play quicker.** 

Now what is ^ cuddle-me-bufT?" I must confess my ignor- 

Darby was famous for other things besides good drink and 
drinkers. The world will not willingly let the memoiy of that 
famous ram die. When I was a boy in Hampshire it was always 
a stock song among the ploughmen and shepherds at village fes- 
rivals, harvest homes, and sheep-shearings. As nearly as I can 
remember, the first verse in Hampshire dialect was — 

As I was gam to Darby, all on a market deay, 
I zeed the foinest ram, zur, as ever wur fed wi' heay. 
His tail hung down behind, zur, 'twer six yards and an ell. 
And he * wur sent to Darby for to ring the market bell. 

I don't remember the other verses, and perhaps it is as well ; 
for, if I am not mistaken, they were rather broad. 

From Darby and Burton to Birmingham is an easy and natural 
transition^ and the praises of the hardware town have been sung 
in good style by John Freith, the Birmingham laureat in the 
latter end of the last and beginning of the present century. 

* According to a well-known bw in Hampthire, creiything it *' he " 
but a Tom cat. 

44^ In Praise of Ale. 

Birmingham Besk« 
A new song. Temp. 1 798. 

Tune — ** Ye prigs who are troubled with consrience's qualms.'' 

Ye naortalt who never, in all your wild trips, 
With good humming liquor saluted your lips. 
Give ear to my story, ye strangers to cheer, 
The pleasure I sing of is Birmingham beer ; 
'Tis here the salutis of life's to be found ; 
For merchants who circuit the kingdom around 
Declare, on their travels from Thames to the Tweed, 
That Birmingham stingo all others exceed. 

I grant that fair Nottingham once bore the bell. 

That our grandsires ne'er tasted the sweets of good ale ; 

But our fathers unravelled the myst'ry, and we 

Enjoy the best comfort in jocular glee ; 

It banishes care, and removes all our ills, 

We sip at the Fountain, or tipple at Gill's ; 

Then here, ye Salopians, I beg you'd repair 

If wonted to taste of the choicest of beer. 

Our true Orthodox, from the barrel fresh come. 
Throws the tankard lit up by the strength of the foam ; 
This strike-fire of nature, prepared right the dose. 
Either 'livens or lulls us to gentle repose ; 
'Tis the spring of invention, a balm that imparts 
The cause that promotes and inspires us to arts ; 
Then who would not wish to partake of the juice 
When knowing the feats it is wont to produce ? 

Let others in vain boast of different places ; 
But say, can they turn out such plump ruddy faces, 
Such free jovial fellows, with cheeks red as roses ? 
Who swim in October to raddle their noses? 

Local and Dialect Songs. 449 

Ye beer-drinking souls, to good-fellowship prone. 
That dwell miles a hundred or more from our town, 
'Tis well worth your notice amongst us to steer, 
If only to taste of fam'd Birmingham beer. 

Freeth was either Secretary or President of the Birmingham 
Boole Club, and on him devolved the duty of writing the 
invitations to the annual gatherings of tliat learned and sociable 

Come and take at my table a seat, 

(Tho' granting the times may be bad). 

Now and then a good dinner I get. 
And my share of good ale 1 have had« 

Complaining would be a mere folly; 

1 ne'er had the Gkavel nor Gout ; 
Shrove Tuesday's the time to be jolly. 

So pass the glass briskly about. 

Impatient the people are grown, 
For news — all suspense to dispel ; 

At Amiens the work's neariy done. 
In Amity long may we dwell. 

Animosities hence done away. 

Bright Commerce enliv'ning the shore. 

Let this be the Toast of the day. 
Good Fellowship all the world o'er. 

Then follows the invitation for 1 800 : — 

Tho' dear as things are, o'er the sociable cup. 
On Friday attend — keep the old Charter up; 
Howe'er some may prosper, whilst others are dish'd. 
The bulk of the people, 'tis ardently wished 
Much larger will see, e'er tliree signs the sun passes. 
Our sixpenny loaves, and our twopenny glasses. 

2 w 

450 In Praise of Ale. 

Till old father time ev'ry matter adjusts, 

The world will wag od, for its axis ne'er rusts ; 

And since through the kingdom, 'tis very well known , 

More money will still be the minister's tone ; 

Then let us at present drink sorrow away, 

For no man can live without moistening his clay. 

The next year, 1801, we have : — 

Respecting mankind's old habitual fare, 
Whatever new modes are invented; 

If White Bread I can't for my table prepare, 
I trust you'll with Brown be contented. 

For support, on a generous public much lies. 
Wholesome soup many keeps from starvation ; 

Good Ale very scarce is, and Christmas Mince Pics, 
It seems are almost out of fashion. 

On Russia, since England has got a strong claim, 
John Bull — as to there a short dance is — 

May serve the magnanimous Paul much the same 
As the French serve the Emperor Francis. 

Although common food is uncommonly dear, 

Endeavour to make the heart gay ; 
And let at the board, over plain English cheer, 

Better Times be the Toast of the Day. 

For 1799. 

In these plentiful days, 

If the heart is at ease, 
And you've got a few minutes to spare. 

With a friend and a cup. 

Keep the old custom up, 
And be happy o'er good English fare. 

Local and Dialect Songs. 45 1 

Be the timet bad or good. 

It is DOW underttoody 
That the Centuky ends with this year. 

May the next we begin 

Be with Peace ushered in. 
And its Blessings diffused far and near. 

By reading we find 

Constant food for the mind. 
But as War we have cause to deplore ; 

As a Toast whilst I live. 

Free and fondly I'll give. 
Good Fellowship all the world o'er. 

Be&skam and Brymbo. 

I don't know who John Wilkinson was (probably a Welsh 
ironmaster), but the song in his honour is worth reprinting : — 

John Wilkinson. 

Ye workmen of Bersham and Brymbo draw near. 
Sit down, take your pipe, and my song you shall hear, 
I sing not of war, or the state of the nation ; 
Such subjecu as these produce nought but vexation. 
Derry down, down, down, deny down. 

But before I proceed any more with my lingo. 
You shall drink my toast in a bumper of stingo ; 
Fill it up, and without any further parade, 
John Wilkinson, boys, that supporter of trade. 

May all his endeavours be crown'd with success, 
And his works, ever growbg, prosperity Uess; 
May his comforts increase with the length of his days, 
And his fame shine as bright u his furnaces blaze. 

That the wood of old England would foil, did appear, 
And though iron was scarce because charcoal was dear, 

2 F 2 

452 In Prcuse of Ale. 

By paddling and stamping he cured that evil, 

So the Swedes and the Russians may go to the devil. 

Our thundering cannon too frequently burst, 
A mischief so great he prevented the first. 
And now it is well known they never miscarry, 
But drive all our foes with a blast to Old Harry. 

Then let each jolly fellow take hold of his glass. 
And drink to the health of his friend and his lass ; 
May we always have plenty of stingo and pence, 
And Wilunson's fame blaze a thousand years hence. 

The adventures or misadventures of a Sussex chawbacon are 
well set forth in this extract. The provincialisms are note- 
worthy, and in striking contrast to those which have gone 
before : — 

** For Sister Sal five years ago, 

Went off with Squyer Brown ; 
Housemaid or summat, don't know what, 
To live at Lunnon Town. 

They 'hav'd uncommon well to Sal, 

An ge'ur clothes and dat ; 
So Sal 'hav'd nashun well to them, 

And grow'd quite tall and fat. 

A liddle aluss stood close by. 

Thinks I, Til go in here, 
An git, ye see, a coger loike 

Of good bren cheese and beer. 

Now wost ant was, I cudn't read 

De letters on de post ; 
So sometimes I went round about 

An other-while was lost." 

Local and Dialect Songs. 453 

And when Tim got to Crayton (Croydon) town, he asked 
an ostler for a bed : — 

•* * 0*1 mate I cum a tejus way, 
As far as I be able ; 
ril trate ya wud a pot o' beer 
To let mt in your stable.' 

* Why yahsy ya seem a 'onest man/ 

The stable chap did say, 
' Ya may lay down in dat dere pen, 

Among that good soth hay.' 

Sum sed I wud o'l leather legs, 
Sum pointed to ma hat. 

An ax'd ma uf a swarm of bees 
Was housen under dat ! '' 

^ Ale rules the camps, the groves, the forts. 
From Land's End to the John o' Groats." 

The praises of Edinbro' ale have been said, and they now shall 
be sung. 

Scotland has of late years been more &mous for mountain dew 
and usquebaugh at the gatherings of '* Long John " than for ale ; 
yet we find they can not only brew, but appreciate good malt 
liquor, as is shown in the following ; and the '< Cogie o' Yill " is 
a grand institution, mon. Of course the convivial and very canny 
Scot who insists that his friend should *^ stand his pint stoup 
first," could scarcely mean to put awa' twa pints o' whisky be- 
tween two friends at one sitting, though, as a rule, their capa- 
city for the national drink is great "Johnnie Dowie" was a 
well-known Edinburgh character who kept a tavern in Libberton's 
Wyndy which was much frequented by the literary society of the 
Scottish metropolis at the latter end of the last century. The 
following squib was printed and circulated among his friends by 
" Honest " John himself, and published in the Scott Majazme 

454 In Praise of Ale. 

for 1 806, and attributed to Burns, who was a ^quent visitor of 
Mr Dowie ; but the real author was Mr Hunter, of Blackness. 
The contents of Dowie's larder are interesting in reference to the 
resources of an Edinburgh tavern of the period (1789). 

Johnnie Dowie's Ale. 

A' ye wha wis', on e'enings lang 
To meet and crack, and sing a sang, 
And weet your pipes, for little wrang 

To purse or person. 
To sere (serious) Johnnie Dowie's gang, 

There thrum a verse on. 

O, Dowie's ale ! thou art the thing 
That gars us crack, and gars us sing. 
Cast by our cares, our wants a' fling 

Frae us with anger: 
Thou e'en mak'st passion tak the wing. 

Or thou wilt bang 'er. 

How bless'd is he wha has a groat 
To spare upon the cheering pot! 
He may look blythe as ony Scot 
That e'er was bom : 
. Gie's a' the like, but in' a coat 

An' guide frae scorn. 

But think na tliat strong ale alone 
Is a' that's kept by dainty John; 
Na, na, for i* the place there's none, 

Frae end to end, 
For meat can set you better on 

Than can your friend. 

Wi' looks as mild as mild can be, 
Wi' smudgin' laugh, wi' winkin' ee: 

Local and Dialect Sengs. 

Ao' ]ovJj bow down to hit knee, 
He'U my fii' douce, 

" WhCi gendenKo, wait till I tee 
What'i i' the boute." 

Aoither bow — "Deed, gif ye p\eaae, 
Ye am {ct a bit o' toa*ted checK, 
A cnim o' tripe, ham, diih- o' peaie, 

(The Matoo'i £ttin',) 
Ad egg, or cauler frae the tnt, 

A fleuk, or whittn'. 

A nice beef fteak— or ye may get 
A gude bulTd berring, reiwed »kate. 
Ad ingau, an' (tho' pan tu date) 

A cut o' veal i 
Ha, ba ! it'i no that unco late, 

I'll do it weel." 

O Geordie Robenaon, dreigb loon. 
An' anti(]uarian Paton *oun ; 
Wi' mony ithen i' the town. 

What wad come o'er ye, 
Gif Johanie Dowie ihould itap down 

To th' grave before ye i 

Ve Hire wad break your heart! wi' grief. 
Ad' id itroog ale find na relief. 
War ye to loie your Dowie — chief 

O' bottle Iteepen ; 
Three year* at leaat, now to be brief, 

Yc'd gang wi' weepen. 

But, gude fetbid ! for your aaket a', 
That Mc an uaefu' roan thould la' t 

456 In Praise of Ale. 

For, frien's o' mioe, between us twa. 

Right i' your lug, 
You'd lose a houfF, baith warm and braw, 

An' unco snug. 

Then pray for*8 health this roony a year, 
Fresh thre-*n-a-ha'penny, best o' beer, 
That can, tho' dull, you brawly cheer. 

Recant you weel up; 
An' gar you a' forget your wear, 

Your sorrows seal up. 

" Another bottle, John ! " 
" Gentlemen, Vs past twelve, and time to go home.*' 

This last line was a clencher, and brings us to an ignominious 
ending, suggestive of the *< chucker out.** 

Here is a more modem composition in praise of *' Prime 
Edinburgh ale," written by W. H. Murray, manager of the 
Theatre Royal, Edinburgh, and sang to the tune of *< Home, 
sweet home." There are many other capital Scotch songs, which 
appear in another place. 

From the Land's End to Orkney Isle, wherever you may sail. 
There's no drink that you can get to match prime Edinbro' ale. 
A bottle of John Dryburgh's best will drown all care: 
Prime Edinburgh ale is not met with everywhere. 

There's several friends of mine whose brains they will slaughter 

By drinking large quantities of whisky and water: 

They get very fou, and next morning tells the tale — 

Now I never has no headaches, 'cos I drink nothing else but ale. 

There's another friend of mine, that preaches up sobriety. 
Says I ought to be a member of a temperance society. 
But to try and drink with me, they'd find it no avail — 
rd keep them all sober, by drinking all the ale. 

Local and Dialect Songs. 457 

The following modernised version of an older song shows 
that the country gentry kept up their old mansions at a bountiful 
old rate with a good old porter to relieve the old poor at their 

The Dorsetshihe 'Squae ; oa, A Mug of Nut-Bkown Alb* 

A wealthy 'squire in Dorsetshire 

Enjoyed the charms of life ; 
His time was spent in sweet content. 

He never harboured strife. 
This happy 'squire of Dorsetshire 

Lived in a pleasant vale; 
His chief delight, at noon and night, 

A mug of nut-brown ale. 

The wealthy 'squire of Dorsetshire 

Would ne'er the poor oppress ; 
But ai impart, with cheerful heart. 

To merit in distress. 
No envious tongue, with venom stung, 

'Gainst him did e'er prevail ; 
'Twas pleasure rare with him to share 

A mug of nut-bi*own ale. 

This is a far kindlier philosophy than that of the egotistical 
humbug who invited *< John Brown to come and take a glass in 
his arbour when he'd pass," but took it out of John by inflicting 
his crude platitudes upon him without allowing him to get in a 
word edgeways. 

Here is the converse of the foregoing song: — 

EricaAM ON Sit CHiusTOPHEt Hawkins of Tuwsthen. 

A large park with no deer, 

A large cellar with no beer, 

A large house with no cheer. 

N,B, — Sir Christopher Hawkins lives here. 

458 In Praise of Ale. 


At one time " The pale-hued Dorchester and stout nut brown " 
was the popular drink of London, and that long before Burton 
was drank to any great extent, since it is noteworthy that the 
Dorset and Burton ales were better known on the Continent, and 
in Russia especially, than they were in London. This is readily 
accounted for by the cost of transit by the common stage waggon 
as against the cost of shipment by sea. Old Pepys records that 
the capture of a ship brought him a cask of " North Down ale ; " 
and Mr T. Hardy in his " Trumpet Major " sounds the praises 
of Dorset ale with no uncertain sound. 

'* In the liquor line, Loveday laid in an ample barrel of Dor- 
chester * strong beer.' This renowned drink was not only well 
calculated to win the hearts of soldiers blown dry and dusty by 
residence in tents on a hill top, but of any wayfarer whaterer in 
that land. It was of the most beautiful colour that the eye of an 
artist in beer could desire ; full in body, yet brisk as a volcano ; 
piquant, yet without a twang; luminous as an autumn sunset; 
irtt from streakiness of taste ; but, finally, rather heady. The 
masses worshipped it, the minor gentry loved it more than wine, 
and by the most illustrious county families it was not despised. 
Anybody brought up for being drunk or disorderly in the streets 
of its natal borough, had only to prove that he was a stranger to 
the place and its liquors, to be honourably dismissed by the magis- 
trates as one overtaken in a fault that no man could guard against 
who entered the town unawares/' 

The strength of the brewage is shown by the following scraps 
of conversation between two carters from the country who met in 
the town of Dorchester, when one says: «* We mus' hae a quart 
now, lad. Wer shel us go, you ? " The other : « Wer ! Why, 
th' * Dree Maliners' (a well-known inn in the town), to be sure. 
Thic's the beer for I, 'tis zo herd*s doore nayles. A quart ot ud 
gie d'had aike vur dree days." 

In the Rev. Thomas Cox's " History of Dorsetshire," pub- 
lished A.D. 1 7CX>, he states that " Dorchester is famous for a sort 
of cakes called Dorchester cakes ; and since by the French wars 

Local and Dialect Songs. 459 

the coming of Frrach wine it prohibited^ the people here have 
learned to brew the finest malt liquors in the kingdom, so 
delicately clean and well tasted that the best judges not only 
prefer it to the ales most in vogue, as Hull, Derby, Burton, Sec, 
because 'tis not so heady, but look upon it to be little inferior to 
the common wines, and better than the sophisticated which is 
usually sold." 

Another extract from Hutchins' "History of Dorset," ist 
edition, published about the year 1750, shows that: — On the 
breaking out of the wars with France, and the prohibition of 
French wines, nudting and brewing vrere carried here to great 
perfection, and they sent great quantities of excellent beer to 
London and foreign parts, but since 1725 this trade is decayed. 
The trade of nudting, however, seems to have been carried on to 
a great extent in this town at a much earlier period, particularly 
during the 17th century, when Dorchester was already cele- 
brated for its malt and beer. The increase of this business 
seems to have occasioned an Act, made 9 and 10 William III., 
to repeal an Act 39 Elizabeth to restrain excessive making of 

That the brewers and malting interests were well looked after 
is shown by the following Minutes from the Books of the 
Corporation of Dorchester : — 

July 13th, 1631: "Whereas the pavement of the towne 
streetes are much tome and annoyed by the brewers' carte wheels 
by reason of the iron bonds, it is now ordered that none of the 
brewers of this towne shall after the xxiiiith day of August next 
carry any beere abroad in the towne with iron bonds, 5cc." 

Sept nth, 1639 : *^This day Joseph Michell, of Salisbury, 
commended upon the company by Mr Bailiff Bury and Mr Dennis 
Bond for his honesty and abilitie in maulting as they are in- 
formed by good testymony is agreed with by the company to 
make for one year from Michaelmas next of all the mault the 
hospital brewhouse shall spend and use, and to employ himself 
and his manservant therein diligently, and his servant to help the 
brewers when they tonne their beere, and he undertaketh to make 
good and sufficient mault and to have for wages for him and his 

460 In Praise ofAie. 

man 30 11, and in beere that is howse sprad as much as 3 li. 
yearly ; and the said Joseph agreeth during that tyme to use no 
other emplojrment for himselfe or his man without the allowance 
of this company, and he is to take and give account of all the 
barley he receives in and mault delivered unto the store howses." 

The praises of Dorset having been said, they now shall be sung 
in the local dialect taken from the late Rev. William Barnes' 
valuable collection of rural poems. The farmers, formerly the 
farmers' wives, would superintend the brewing of the beer fbr 
home consumption. There was the strong beer, the second, and 
the uble beer, or •* swankey," as it was irreverently called, and 
was generally sent to the harvest fields to allay thirst whilst work- 
ing. At the "nuncheons" and the "nammits" the better 
quality was discussed. 

PiAisE o' Dorset. 

We Do'set, though we mid be homely, 

Ben't ash«im'd to own our pleace 
An' we've some women not uncomely. 

Nor esheam'd to show their feace: 
We've a mead or two woth mow^n. 
We've an ox or two wo'th show^n. 
In the village, 
At the tillage. 
Come along an' you shall find 
That Do'set men don't sheam their kind. 

Friend an' wife, 

Fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, 
Happy, happy be their life! 
Vor Do'set dear. 
Then gi'e woone cheer; 
D'ye hear ? woone cheer! 

If you in Do'set be a-rom^n, 

An' ha' business at farm. 
Then woont ye zee your eale a foam^n ! 

Or your cider down to warm ? 

Local and Dialect Songs. 46 1 

Woont ye have brown bread a-put ye, 
An' iome ?bny cheeae ♦ a-cut ye? 

Butter? — rolls o't! 

Cream ? — why bowls o*t ! 
Woont ye have, in short your ytlly 
A-gi'ed wi' a right good will ? 
Friend, Sec, &c. 

An' woont ye have vor ev'ry ahill^ny 

Shill^n's worth at any shop, 
Though Do'set chaps be up to zell^n, 

An' can meake a tidy swop ? 
Use em well, they'll use you better, 
In good turns they woont be debtor. 
An' so comely, 
An' 80 hwomely. 
Be the maidens, if your son 
Took woone o*m, then you'd cry ** Well done ! *' 
Friend, See, &c. 

If you do see our good men travel, 
Down a-voot or on their meares. 
Along the wind^n leanes o' gravel, 

To the market* or the fe'airs, 
Though their houses cwoats be ragged, 
Though the men be muddy-lagg^, 
Be they roughish. 
Be they gruffish, 
They be sound, an' they will stand 
By what is right wi' heart an' hand. 
Friend, &c.. Sec. 

Next to the carols, harvest home songs are probably the oldest 
extant in praise of beer and hospitality and good cheer generally. 
The description of harvest home supper and Whitsun *' veaatf " 
will be found in the native dialect among the Christmas and 

« •* Vinny cheete '* U the rich blue part of a ripe SUlton, North Wilts, 
or Dorset cheete. 

462 In Praise of Ale. 

Whitsuntide songs which I have taken the liberty of transcribing 
from the Rev. Mr Barnes' invaluable collection.* 

According to an old distich, it does not do to mix your 
liquors — 

" Cider on beer is very good cheer, 
But beer upon cider's a rider." 

By a *< rider " is meant that it does not mix with the previous 
beverage, and thus produces unpleasantness. Here is another 
reason which those who have partaken of the hospitality of the 
southern farmers will appreciate: — 

" The mugs were large, the ale was wondrous strong." 

If I am not mistaken, I believe the Dorsetshire Brewers' 
Association in general, and Messrs Eldred, Pope & Co. in 
particular, are taking steps to re-assert their old supremacy, for 
the ale of the district is as good as ever, or I am no judge. 
Mr Pope, the worthy initiator of this movement, has honourably 
fulfilled the duties of Mayor to the ancient borough of Dor- 
chester. " The Ale " only requires to be known in London to 
be appreciated. I see no reason why they should not do so ; 
the L. and S.W.R. transports "Alton Ale*' in large quantities 
to London. " Brighton Nipper," " Yarmouth Ale," " Strat- 
ford Ale," "Dorchester Guinea," and " Youngers' Edinbro'," 
are all ^miliar in T^ondon and our mouths as household words. 
Rouse up ye men of Dorset, re-assert your old position ; don't 
drink all the Dorset " yell " yourselves. If, as I would ^in 
hope, this book would be one means of inducing the public to 
revert back to good honest beer, we ought to have every variety 
of ales to choose from. London is a big place, and the inhabi- 
tants are a drouthy lot, so that the more varieties of ale we 
have the merrier. 

" The want of a drop of good beer 
Drives lots to tipple more dear, 

* Kegan Paul & Co., Patemotter Square, B.C. 

Local and Dialect Songs, 463 

And they licks their wives. 

And dettroyt their lives. 

Which they never would do upon beer." 

Look to it, ye gentlemen of the Brewery fraternity. 

I uke the next two Wiltshire dialect songs from Mr Tom 
Hughes' capital description of the high jinks that went on at the 
periodical ceremony of " Scouring the White Horse." 

Tovey's Taf. 
Jir—** Deny Down." 

Old Tovey once brewed a barrel o' beer, 
For he war a man as lovM good cheer ; 
And, zays he, PU jest ax a vew o' my vriends 
To come and try how the likker spends. 

Derry Down. 

There's long Tam Ockle, he shall be one, 
And little Jack Smith, who's as round as a tun, 
And owld Gaarge Nfabbutt, who's alius a-dry, 
ril warn they make good company. 

Derry Down. 

The barrel war tapped, and the beer runned well, 
How much they vour drinked I never heard tell ; 
But zome how or other they one and all 
Did zwear as how the drink were small. 

Derry Down. 

Old Tovey at this did look main scrow,* 
Zays he ** My vriends I'd hev'ee kneow 
That my beer has made 'ee as drunk as pigs, 
And not one o' you dree can kip on his legs." 

Derry Down. 
They left the house, and the path they tuk, 
Athert the meadow as leads to the brook ; 
And you plainly med zee as every man 
Had a pair o' crooked stockings on. 

Derry Down. 


464 Jn Praise of Ale. 

Tt^Ljs Mabbutt t* Ockle " Olwd Tovey were zurly," 
Zays Ockle t' Mabbutt " I'm uDcommon purly ; * 
Be mindful, I zay, vor yer missusses' zakes, 
Which o' tliem two narrer bridges you takes. 

Derry Down. 

**Tbe brook is main deep," Gaarge Mabbutt then said, 
And he looked at the water, and scratched his yead ; 
''And I owns I should mazingly like for to know 
Auver which o' they bridges you aims for to go. 

Derry Down. 

Tis an akkerdish place to cross in the night, 
And to stand here till momin' wouldn't be right ; 
'Taint a mossell o' use to bide slubbering here, 
Zo let's go back and vinish the barrel o' beer." 

Deny Down. 

The Shefherd's Song. 

Come all you shepherds of minds for to be, 

You must have a gallant heart. 
You must not be down-hearted, 
You must a-bear the smart ; 
Let it be hail or rain or snow. 

For there is no ale to be had on the hill 
When the wintry wind doth blow. 

When I kept sheep on White Horse Hill 

My heart began to ache, 
My old ewes all hung down their heads. 

And my lambs began to bleat ; 
Then I cheered up with courage bold. 
And over the hill did go. 

For there is no ale to be had on the hill 
When the wintry wind doth blow. 

• Purblind, 

Local and Dialect Songs. 465 

I drive my sheep into the fold 
To keep them safe all night, 
For drinking of good ale, my boys, 

It is my heart's delight. 
I drive my sheep into the fold, 
And homeward I did go, 

For there is no ale to be had on the hill 
When the wintry wind doth blow. 

We shepherds are the liveliest lads 

As ever trod English ground, 
If we drops into an ale-house 

We values not a crownd. 
We values not a crownd, my boys. 
We'll pay before wc go, 

For there is no ale to be had on the hill 
When the wintry sun is low. 

The annexed stanzas are from an old ballad known as ** The 
Wiltshire Wedding," reproduced in Chappell's old English 
songs and melodies ; the verses describe the outfit and attire of a 
Wiltshire rustic : — 

AH in a misty morning, 

Cloudy was the weather, 
I meeting with an old man 

CIothM all in leather, 
With ne'er a shirt upon his back. 

But wool unto his skin, 
With how dye do, how dye do, and how dye do again. 

The rustic was a thrasher, 

And on his way be hied. 
And with a leather bottle 

Fast buckled to his side, 
And with a cap of woollen 
Which covered cheek and chin, 
With how dye do, &c. 

2 o 

4^6 In Praise rf Ale. 

Here are two other stanzas, containing the shepherd's 8up;)ei 
bill-of-fare from Pratt's operetta, " Love's Trials " : — 

'' Then a sheaf of good bread, nice and brown as a nut, 
Or on curds he regales white as snow. 
With the maid that he loves he partakes of the fruit, 
That thinking of her he in scrip did well stow. 

Then tales full of glee go gossiping round. 

As round the good nut brown roost nimbly doth trot. 

Whilst shepherd sits singing his cares all away. 
Till on quills of fair straw to his bed he be got." 

John Taylor, the water poet, who flourished 1 584-1654, was 
the most voluminous writer on beer of his day — among others, his 
address to the men of Wiltshire, which is worth reproducing : — 
*' I am assured there are many good men in the city and county of 
Wiltshire, and others of worth and good respect in this kingdom 
who would willingly and bountifully assist this good work ; but 
(like gossips' new style) they stand straining courtesy who shall 
go first. You have already begun a charitable work amongst 
you ; I mean your common town brewhouse, the profits of which 
you intend shall be wholly employed for the supply of the poor 
and impotent, which live in your city ; fix>m which sort of people 
(being such a multitude) the brewers there have found their best 
custom ; for no doubt but the meanest beggar amongst you is 
(in some sort) more valiant than the richest man ; because the 
one dares spend all he hath in at the alehouse, so dares not the 
other ; for the poor man drinks stifiiy to drive care away, and 
and hath nothing to lose ; and the rich man drinks moderately, 
because he must bear a brain to look to what he hath." 

In the ancient Cornish customs, as given by Mr Robert Hunt 
in his entertaining volumes on the drolls and legends of Cornwall, 
^ Bet of the Mill " relates to the squire how madame and herself 
passed the time away in spinning whilst the other company were 
out at a ** guise dancing." They agreed to spin for pastime, and 
for that purpose : — 

Local and Dialect Songs. 467 

« We took the rushes up from the floor. 
From up by the chimney, down by the door. 
When we had the wool corded ready to spin. 
It came into our heads before we'd begin 
We'd have a jug of hot spiced beer, 
To put life in our heels, our hearts to cheer. 
So we drank the health of one and all. 
While the holly and bays look'd bright on the walL" 

On the 27th August 1660, Pepys records, ^Came a vessel of 
North Down ale from Mr Pierce, the purser, to me, and a brave 
turkey carpet, and a jar of olives," &c., &c. 


'* To the praise of Gambinius, that old British King 
Who devis'd for the nation (by the Welchman's tale) 
Seventeen hundred years before Christ did spring. 
The happie invention of a pot of good ale." 

When Randall wrote the above ra 1 642, he doubtless only 
gave currency to a tradition then extant, which went to show, 
what is a matter of fact, that the Welsh were ale drinkers from 
a very early period. The tradition also confirms Archdeacon 
Rollestone, in his learned dissertation on the high antiquity of the 
drink. When the Romans came over they found the aborigines 
were no strangers to that liquor which served to strengthen their 
bodies and exhilarate their spirits. In the Court of Wales the 
brewer was a high functionary, taking the precedence of physicians. 
There were three things which were communicated to the king 
before being made known to the world at large. 

1 . Every sentence of the judge. 

2. Every new song. 

3. Every cask of ale. 

The estimation in which Welsh ale was looked upon is shown 
by a grant of some abbey lands by the Abbot of Peterborough, 
in the year 852, under reservation of ceruin paymenu in kind, as 
specified. "One night's entertainment, ten vessels of Welch, 
and two of common ale, sixty cart loads of wood, and twelve of 


468 In Praise of Ale. 

pit coal." Showing that coal began to be had as fiiel at an early 
date, though not generally. Wallice gives the lists of the sixteen 
great officers of the Court of a King of Wales, and their respec- 
tive ranks, i • The Mayor of the Palace, who was also General 
of the Army. 2. The Priest of the Household, who sat at the 
Royal table, to bless the meat and chant the Lord's Prayer. 
3. The Steward, one of whose perquisites was as much of every 
cask of plain ale as he can reach with his middle finger dipped 
into it, and at much of every cask of ale with spiceries as he can 
reach with the second joint with his middle finger, and as much 
of every cask of mead as he can reach with the first joint of the 
same finger. 4. The Master of the Hawks, who, among other 
things, stipulated that he would drink no more than three ttmea. 
lest he should become intoxicated and neglect hb birds. 5. The 
Judge of the Household, the most indispensable of whose quali- 
fications were a learned education and a long beard ; he presided 
at the contests of the poets and musicians, which were frequently 
held before the King. 6. The Master of the Horse. 7. The 
Chamberlain, one of whose obligations was to provide clean straw 
and rushes for the King's bed. 8. The Chief Musician or 
Bard. This officer was highly esteemed, and sat at the King's 
table. 9. The Silentiary, whose duty it was to preserve order 
when the King took his seat — " Gentlemen, pray^ silence for the 
Chair." la The Master of the Horse, who was not required to 
take an oath in the ordinary way, but to swear by his horses and 
dogs. 1 1 • The Mead Maker, who would presumably be the 
Brewer as well 1 2. The Physician, whose fee for curing slight 
wounds were the garments that had been stained with blood. 
1 3, The Buder. 1 4. The Porter, who combined the duties of 
Gentleman Usher to the King, and was entitled at all great 
festivals to three horns fiill of a certain liquor called the ** Twelve 
Aposdes." I J. The Master Cook. 

This shows that beer and poetry ranked equally in the estima- 
tion of the Ancient Cymry, and the bards tuned their harps and 
sang the praises of ale in solo and in chorus : — 

«* A word in praise of our Welse drink. 
And yet for aull that is a cup of Bragaty 

Local and Dialect Songs. 469 

Aull EnglaDd's aeer may cast his cup at. 
And what say you to the ale of Webly, 
Toudge him well, you'll praise him trebly, 
As well as Methylin, or Syder, or Meath, 
Sail sake it your dagger quite out of the seath. 

And oat cake of Guarthenian, 

With a goodly leek or onion. 

To gi?e it as sweet a relis^ 

As e*er did Harper Ellis." 

In the pro?erbs of Hendyng, who wrote about the end of the 
1 3th century, he inculcates the duty of hospitality. 

Hast of bread and ale no lack. 
Put not all in thine own sack. 

But scatter some about. 
Art thou free with thine own meals. 
Where another his meat deals 

Go'st thou not without 
** Better apple gi'en nor eaten ;" 
Quoth Hendyng. 

Yef thou ha?est bred ant ale, 
Ne put thou nout al in thy male. 

Thou del it sum aboute. 
Be thou fre of thy meeles, 
Wher so roe eny mete deles, 

Gest thou nout withoute. 
«* Betere is appel y-geve then y-ctc;" 
Quoth Hendyng. 

Knowing how thoroughly poetic the Welsh nation are, and the 
plaintive nature of their music, I have been greatly disappointed 
in finding so few of their songs and ballads translated into 
English. Even the few we have lack the spirit of the originals. 
In some respects, perhaps, the language does not lend itself to 
translation ; a few words like the following would be what Dick 
Swiveller would call a ** suggerer ** — ** Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgog- 
erych wy mdrobwl Igertrobwllylandysiliogogogoch. " 

470 in Praise of Ale. 

Then again, the particular kind of metre known as the Englyn 
is only adapted for declamation, and not for song. I can but 
regret that so much good poetry as the Welsh possess should lie 
buried in the language, and so utterly lost to the outside world, 
and cannot help thinking that the National Eisteddfod Associa- 
tion would do better if they would arrange to issue some really 
good and worthy renderings of their old Bardic lays and traditions. 
There is a wealth of material. George Borrow did something 
in that way. 

lolo Goch, or Red Julius, the bard of Owen Glendower, 
records the glories of his patron's mansion, and above all, his 
unbounded hospitality :— 

*^ What luxury doth his hall adorn. 
Showing of cost a sovereign scorn ! 
His ale from Shrewsbury town he brings ; 
His usquebaugh is drink for kings. 
Bragget he keeps, bread white of look. 
And, bless the mark, a bustling cook. 
His mansion is the minstrel's home, 
You'll find them there whene'er you come. 
Of all her sex his wife's the best. 
The household through her care is blest ; 
She's scion of a knightly tree. 
She's dignified, she's kind and free. 
His bairns approach me, pair by pair, 
O what a nest of chieftains kiw ! 
How difficult it is to catch 
A sight of either bolt or latch ; 
The porter's place here none will fill ; 
Here largess shall be lavish'd still. 
And ne'er shall thirst or hunger rude 
In Sycharth venture to intrude." 

lolo composed the ode of which the foregoing is an extract, 
when he was over lOO years old, and he lived himself to be over 
il8 3rears, so that the air and ale of Wales agreed with him. 
His patron was not so long lived ; he died at the age of 67. 

Local and Dialect Songs. 47 r 

^ One thousand four hundred, no less and no more, 
Was the date of the rising of Owen Glendower ; 
Till fifteen were added, with courage ne*er cold 
Li?'d Owen, though latterly Owen was old." 

^ In Cambria we are bom, and gentlemen : 
Further to boast were neither true nor modest, 
Unless I add that we are honest." 

The code of honour is strict but patriotic : — 

" Three things should a Cumro always bear in mind lest he 
dishonour them : his father, his country, and his name of Cumro. 

** There are three things for which a Cumro should be willing 
to die : his country, his good name, and the truth whererer it be. 

** Three things are highly disgraceful to a Cumro: to look 
with one eye, to listen with one ear, and to defend with one 

*' Three things it especially beho?es a Cumro to choose from 
his own country : his king, his wife, and his friend." 

In the poem of the "Sleeping Bard," by £lis Wyn, trans- 
lated by George Borrow, we ha?e a pretty full account of 
a drinking match. " From thence we went to a place 
where we heard a terrible noise, a medley of striking, jabber- 
ing, crying and laughing, shouting and singing. * Here's 
Bedlam, doubtless,' said I. By the time we entered the 
den the brawling had ceased. Of the company, one was on 
the ground insensible ; another was in a yet more deplorable con- 
dition ; another was nodding over a hearthful of battered pots, 
pieces of pipes, and oozings of ale. And what was all this, upon 
enquiry, but a carousal of seven thirsty neighbours, — a goldsmith, 
a pilot, a smith, a miner, a chimney-sweeper, a poet, and a parson 
who had come to preach sobriety, and to exhibit in himself what 
a disgusting thing drunkenness is ! The origin of the last squabble 
was a dispute which had arisen anx>ng them about which of the 
seven loved a pipe and flagon best. The poet had carried the 
day over all the rest, with the exception of the parson, who, out 

47 2 In Praiie of Ale, 

of re^)ect for his cloth, had the most votes, being placed at the 
head of the jolly companions, the poet singing : — 

* O where are there seven beneath the sky 
Who with these seven for thirst can vie ? 
But the best for good ale these seven among 
Are the jolly divine and the son of song.' " 

The company were certainly a little mixed, and a big drunk 
resulted, besides, the Welsh ale is strong. It used to be well 
known in London, where the windows of the houses were adorned 
with pictures of Welsh women in their native custom ; and the 
men of Wales met in a far-off city, and wished themselves 
back again. 

The only dialect song I can give is one in praise of the brewer 
rather than his brewage, and this will give my readers an idea of 
the difficulties I have pointed out in the way of translation — 

I'r Rhaglywydd, Dafydd Williams, Ysw., 

The Taff Vale Brewery. 

By Nathan Dyfed. 

Cymro gwiw eowog o anian — haelwech, 
Yw Williams, Lyw diddan, 
Dawn a chof gwydn, a chyfan, 
O hil glwys, Bencenedl glan. 

£in D3rn, oil yw, dawn alluawg — uchel 
Fasnachydd toreithiawg — 
Haelionus iV rheidus yr hawg 
Yw bri ei glod — bor goludawg. 

Rhodio'n neflon ei Hyna6aid — y mae 
Mewn hoffswyn bendigaid, 
Fel iawn Arwr ei flaenoriaid 
Ym Mynyw, a grym Huein graid. 

Onid yw swn enw " Dewi Sant " — iddo 
'N fbddus, fel adgofiant, 
A hofflith, am Ddjrfed, a'i phlant — sorchawg, 
Ei daiar« a'i gwenawg der ogoniant ? 

Local and Dialect Songs. 473 

Oes o Iwydd gwir sylweddol — a gaflo 
'N deg eflfaitb haofbdol — 
A Gwynfa'n ei ran, ar ol, 
Yd gu haddef dragwyddol. 

The following is a literal rendering and alio a prose paeao in 
honour of David Wiluams of the Taff Vale Brewery : — 

** Williams, our jovial ruler, is a naost worthy Welshman ; fam- 
ous for his liberality, gifted with strong parts, a virtuous chief of 
a venerable race. 

A man of thorough abilities, a merchant of probity and fruitful 
resources, his fair fame having but one fault — ^his extreme genero- 
sity to the necessitous. 

He follows in the footsteps of his ancestors — the delightfully 
charmed existence of a worthy representative of his predecessors 
at St David's. 

Is there not to him a charmed recollection in the sound of St 
David's name ; the fond story of Demetia, her beloved children, 
her soil, acd her radiant glory ? 

May his be a life of unqualified success, and, hereafter, may 
Paradise be his everlasting home." 

Here is an obit of a Welsh gentleman who loved his ale — 

^ November 30, 1 793, died at Beaumaris, William Lewis, 
Esq., of Llandisman, in the act of drinking a cup of Welsh ale, 
containing about a wine quart, called a tumbler maur. He made 
it a rule, every nnoming of his lifi^, to read so many chapters in 
the Bible, and in the evening to drink eight gallons of ale. It is 
calculated that in his lifetime he roust have drunk a sufficient 
quantity to float a seventy-four gun ship. His size was astonish- 
ing, and he weighed forty stone. Although he died b his par« 
lour, it was found necessary to construct a nuichine in form of a 
crane, to lift his body on a carriage, and afterwards to have the 
machine in a churchyard to let him down into the grave. He 
went by the name of the King of Spain, and his family by the 
different titles of prince, infanta, Sec." 

474 In Praise of Ale. 

I hoped at one time to have been able to have secured some 
Irish beer songs, but found that such a chapter would very much 
resemble that on snakes in Iceland — there are none. Moore wrote 
some charming Anacreontics in praise of drink and the Cruishkcen 
Lawn, and the poets have sung the glories of potheen, but none 
have sung the praises of ale in the rich and racy Milesian brogue. 

I have alluded to the energy with which the Dorsetshire 
Brewers are reviving the glories of the erstwhile famous ale. I 
regret to learn from the Morning Post of October 4th, 1877, 
that there is a sad falling off in the neighbouring county 
of Zummerzet, both in their beer and cheese. 

** This," says the Post, ^ is an unpalauble truth to those men 
who are the true descendants of the men of whom old Fuller wrote, 
and who boasted in his days that their pastures were so fruitful 
* with the zun and zoil alone, that they needed no manuring,' and 
who were themselves * so highly conceited that they conceived it a 
disparagement to be bom in any other place/ The cheese, ale, 
and broadcloth of Somerset have had a noble history, and one of 
which its men may well and justly be proud, but foreign com- 
petition is proving an insidious foe to all. One of the largest — 
if not the largest — brewery in the county is one where light 
Anglo-Bavarian ales are sent out, — stuff at which the stolid men 
of old Fuller's times would have turned up their noses, but which 
is much relished in these days of more active brainwork and 
rapid progress. Where also is the famous broadcloth of the 
county — thick, board-like, firm, and ever-wearing ? About two 
miles from the town of Frome, and covering some acres of land, 
are the ruins of a ^ctory which fifteen years ago was employing 
something like four hundred hands. A Somersetshire man would 
swear by the cloth turned out from this factory. But it was too 
good for this generation, and except occasionally, people would 
not buy a suit of clothes of a quality to last them for ten or fifteen 
years, or as in the case of the broadcloth Sunday suit, for a life- 
time. The dismantled factory and echoing ruins are now as much 
a memorial of a past time as is the finest ruin of a Norman Castle. 




^ Beer^ haffy produce of our Ule^ 
Can sinewy strength imparl^ 
Andy wearied with fatigue and toU^ 
Can cheer each manly heart,** 

Most of the trades have some songs intended to be sung on con- 
viral occasions. I can only give a few of these, but they each 
have a distinctive character. Charles Dibden's song of ^ The 
Thrasher" is one of the best; it appears in the ^Melodist " for 
1817. The song survives, tliough the thrasher with his flail is 
almost as extinct as a dodo. 

The Tioasher. 
By Charles Dibden. 

Can any king be half so great, 

So kind, so good as I? 
I give the hungry food to eat, 

And liquor to the dry. 
My labour's hard; but still 'tis sweet. 

And easy to endure ; 
For, while I toil to thrash the wheat, 
I comfort rich and poor. 
And I merrily sing, as I swing round the flail. 
My reward, when work's over, a jug of brown ale. 

If from wheat the bread is bom. 

Our miseries to cheer, 
*Tis merry Sir John Bariey-com, 

Supplies us with the beer; 

476 In Praise of Ale. 

Besides, while thus I thrash the corn, 

Our pleasures to ensure, 
I for my neighbours' good was bom, 
A baker and a brewer ; 
For I bake, and I brew, and I swing round my flail, 
To provide them with bread and a mug of brown ale. 

Tis for myself, when all is said, 

I work thus with such glee; 
Then, if for others I make bread. 

My labour's bread to me. 
For other mouths I must provide. 

My children must be fed ; 
My wife, and some sick friend beside, 

Who cannot earn his bread : 
With these notions I merrily swing round my flail, 
My reward, when work's over, a mug of brown ale. 

And when my mortal race near run, 

All toil and labour vain, 
A jolly thrasher, shall my son 

His crazy dad maintain. 
Thus will I work, and laugh, and sing, 

And at my thrashing toil; 
Unless I'm called on by my king 

To guard my native soil: 
then, accustomed to thrashing, I'll swing round the flail, 
And thrash the proud foe, to secure my brown ale. 

Roger Ruff, the Ploughman : on, A Drop of Good Beer. 


I'm Roger Ruff the ploughman, 

A ploughman's son am I ; 
And like my thirsty feyther. 

My throttle's always dry. 

Trade Songs. 477 

Tho' the world goes wrong, to me 'tis right, 

What needs I interfere, 
I sings and works from mom tiJl night. 

And then I drinks my beer. 
Chorus. — For I likes a drop of good beer, I does, 
Tm fond of a drop of good beer, I is. 
Let gentlemen fine sit down to their wine. 
But I shall stick to my beer. 


There's Sally, that's my wife, sirs. 

Likes beer as well as me. 
And seems as happy in life, sirs. 
As woman could wish to be. 
She minds her home, ukes care o' the bairns. 

No gossiping neighbours near; 
And ever as Saturday night comes round. 

Like me she drinks her beer. 
Chorut. — For Sally likes a drop of good beer, she does. 
She's fond of a drop of good beer, she is. 
Let gentlemen fine sit down to their wine, 
But Sally likes her beer. 


And there's my dad, God bless him, 

Tho* now turned eighty-five ; 
Hard work could ne'er distress him, 

He's the happiest man alive. 
Tho' old in age, he's young in health, 

His heart and head both clear ; 
Possessed of these, he needs no wealth. 

But still he likes his beer. 
Cbanu. — My feyther likes his beer, he does. 

He's fond of a drop of good beer, he is. 
Let gentlemen fine sit down to their wine, 
But feyther likes his beer. 

478 In Praise of Ale. 


So lads need no persuasion, 

But send your glasses round ; 
We'll never fear invasion. 

While barley grows i'th' ground ; 
May discord cease, and trade increase, 

With every coming year ; 
With plenty crown'd, content, and peace, 

We'll sing and drink our beer. 
Chonu, — For we likes a drop of good beer, we does. 
We be fond of a drop of good beer, we is. 
Let gentlemen 6ne sit down to their wine. 
But we shall stick to our beer. 

The cooper's song, by R. Glindon, not only points morals, 
but could, in the hands of a skilful novelist, be made to adorn 
tales: — 

The Cooper. 
y^r — ** Over the Water to Charlie." 

A comical thought popped into my head, 

This morning as day was just peeping, 

1 might have been dreaming, for I was in bed, 

But I do not believe I was sleeping. 

I thought that the world was a cooperage large 

And compared (tho' perhaps it surprises), 

^ffankind (if I rightly my memory charge). 

To barrels and cash of all sizes. 


Then listen this time to my comical rhyme, 
Push the iilderiin merry as troopers 
While I show short and tall, earth's a coopnrage all. 
And numkind they are all of 'em coofers. 

Trade Songs. 4; 

The rich Svmg aldemum burly and fat 

(1 work, every cranny and (]uirk io) 

jiddi one CO the number, for he'i ■ vol 

With two legs, each a fioe butter j&in; 

The dnmkard you'll God a fine bull for a joke, 

fVill-iraiamd — I'll give him a rath rub, 

With a well burnt iiuiJt, he's a barrri ef tmoke. 

And pitchea hiaJ Gm in Death' i mMi-lut. 

Then litten, Stc. 

1*11 prove to a titde the child altho' little, 
A cooper (don't think my mnte drooping). 
The iaiy don't acofT, when it catche* a cough, 
The firtt thing it doea it goea boefing, 
Tho' daddy mayhap, a large ipoonfiil or pap, 
Down it* throat in a huny doea chuck it ; 
Mammy'a feara do prevail, and ahe quickly taniMfaU, 
Leit the in&nt perchance kick the tticiei. 

Then liaten, &c. 

If it wan't for cafere we couldn't exlat. 

Nor enjoy our roa« beef, greena and gravy. 

If no cooper would vteri, good-bye barrelled pork. 

And salt beef for the army and navy. 

Old John Barleycorn farced to draw in bii horn, 

Ma/l aaJ hope too (I'm no idle ulker). 

Would be brought to their hier ihouM no barreli appear. 

That would give brother buagt each a corker. 

'nwn liiten, &c. 

Ne'er may covert' work ceaae, but barreli increaae, 

And cooperi good order* (till win 'em, 

England boaat of rich crop*, good malt, and fine hop! 

To fiimiah good ttutT to put m 'em. 

E'er I Gniih my iiave, a word more I would have. 

May the man miu hia breakbtt and luncheon. 

Who would injure the trade, and lome coopering blade. 

Some day give his iegjieaJ a punebeom. 

Then liuen, &c. 

480 In Fraise of Ale. 

The Teetotal chaps, don't value good schnapps^ 

Nor your nindlets of rum of Nant%ee^ 

No barrel nor butt^ do they value a jot. 

But a waier-'hutt^ that's all they fancy. 

Yet the coopering blade, can dispense with their aid 

And enjoy each his pipe in foul weather. 

They have found out at length that unity^s strength. 

Like the Jta%}es the hoop hinds Jirm together. 

Then listen, &c. 

Thrashers and agricultural labourers were not the only class of 
people who enjoyed good "yel." Prynne, in his "Histrio 
Mastix/' gives the foUowing: — 

The Player's Song. 

The nut*brown ale, the nut-brown ale, 
Puts down all drinke when it is stale. 
The toast, the nutmeg, and the ginger. 
Will make the sighing man a singer. 

Ale gives a buffet in the head, 

But ginger under proppes the brayne ; 

When ale would strike a strong man dead. 
Then nutmegge tempers it againe. 

The nut-brown ale, the nut-brown ale. 
Puts downe all drinke when it is stale. 

It would be as well if every domestic squabble could be settled 
as easily as those which occurred between Joe the miller and his 
wife. The song is not over-refined, but the sentiment is all 

The Miller and his Wife. 

Poor Joe, the miller, loved good ale, 

And oft would spend his bob — 
His wife, poor soul, would ofttimes rail, 

And swear she'd break his nob; 

Trade Songs. 48 1 

They'd G{ht and quarrel — nuke it np. 

Each Towed they'd look it OTer, 
They d kin and lup, aod take their cup, 
Aod then to bed in clover. 

Tol de rol. 
He ne'er would littea to advice 

That hii poor wife did give himi 
Nor nothing e'er would him mifice. 

Like to the yoji of drinking ) 
One night he brought home pota of ale, 

And made hia wife well fiiddled, 
They Idaaed and hugged — no ipoute did rail, 
fiut went to bed and cuddled. 

Tol de rol 
And when the roiy mom appeared. 

They went to woik together, 
And laughed and joked 'till it came night, 

With heart* a* light aa feather; 
They then would both together tup, 

Together they would muddle, 
Aod, drunk aa lowa, they'd leave their cap, 
And reeled to bed and cuddle. 

Tol de rol. 
Military men have alway* been noted for their love of good 

"Then let me the cannikin clink, dink. 
Then let me the cannikin clink, 
A •oldier'i > man, and life't but a ipan, 
Why then let 1 aoldier drink." 
Jaroe* Grant, in his hiatory of Arthur Blaine, ahowa bow the 
hero made matten pleatant, when be had been taken a priaooer of 
war in Alnce. " At a wayiide beer-honae I entertuoed him 
and the musketeen of ray escort with cant of beer each ; an aa 
of attention which won me their enure good-will. The aergeant 
drank to my health and better fortunes, aa be raised the huge 
tankard to hia lipa and held it there, with the cheek^latea 

482 In Praise of Ale. 

of his morion and his long bushy moustaches dipjnng in the 
frothy till the contents were drained to the bottom." 

The Miutary Toper. 
From " The British Orpheus." 

How stands the glass around ? 

For shame, ye take no care, my boys; 
How stands the glass around ? 
Let mirth and wine abound. 
The trumpets sound: 

The colours flying are, my boys, 
To fight, kill, or wound; 
May we still be found 
Content with our hard fare, my boys. 
On the cold ground. 

Why, soldiers, why. 

Should we be melancholy, boys ! 
Why, soldiers, why. 

Whose business 'tis to die ? 
What! sighing? fie! 

Damn fear, drink on, be jolly, boys ! 
Tis he, you, and I. 
Cold, hot, wet, or dry, 
We're always bound to follow, boys. 
And scorn to fly. 

'Tis but in vain, 

^I mean not to upbraid you, boys), 
Tis but in vain. 

For soldiers to complain : 
Should next campaign 

Send us to him that made you, boys, 
We're free from pain ; 
But should we remain, 
A botde and kind landlady. 
Cures all pain. 

Trade Songs. 483 

The hero of the nibjomed tragedy would hare been happy 
with his ** iU4>py ** had he kept out of love* 

The Cobblbr. 

A cobbler there was, and he li^'d in a stall, 
Which senr'd him for parlour, for kitchen, and hall; 
No coin in his pocket, nor care in his pate^ 
No ambition had he, nor no duns at his gate* 
Deny down, down, down, deny down. 

Contented he work'd, and he thought himself h^py, 
If at night he could purchase a cup of brown nappy; 
He'd laugh then and whistle, and sing too roost sweet. 
Saying, just to a hair IVe made both ends meet. 

Deny down, &c 

But loTe, the disturber of high and of low, 
That shoots at the peasant as well as the beau. 
He shot the poor cobbler quite thro' the heart, 
I wish it had hit some more ignoble part. 

Deny down, &c. 

It was from a cellar this archer did play. 
Where a buxom young damsel continually lay. 
Her eyes shone so bright when she rose every day, 
That she shot the poor cobbler straight over the way. 

Deny down, &c. 

He sung her love-songs as he sat at his work, 
But she was as hard as a Jev or a Turi: 
Whenever he spoke, she would flounce and would tear. 
Which put the poor cobbler quite into deqxur. 

Deny down. Sec. 

He took up his awl, that he had in the world. 
And to make away with himself was resolved, 
He pierc'd through his body instead of the sole : 
So the cobbler he died, and the bell it did toll. 

Deny down, &c. 

2 H 2 

484 In Praise of Ale. 

Here is a three-roan-song not quite to doleful as the foregoing, 
from ''The Shoemaker's Holiday," 1600. 

Cold's the wind, and wet's the rain, 

Saint Hugh be our good speed : 
111 is the weather that bringeth no gain, 

Nor helps good hearts in need. 

Trow! the bowl, the jolly nut-brown bowl, 

And here, kind mate, to thee. 
Let's sing a dirge for Saint Hugh's soul, 

And down it merrily. 

Down a down, hey down a down. 

Hey deny, deny, down a down. 
Ho, well done, to me let come. 

Ring compass gende joy. 

Trowl the bowl, the nut-brown bowl. 

And here, kind mate, to thee, • 
Let's smg a dirge for Saint Hugh's soul. 

And down it merrily. 

Cold's the wind, and wet's the rain. 

Saint Hugh be our good q)eed ; 
111 is the weather that bringeth no gain, 

Nor helps good hearts in need. 

Tinkers have always been famous drinkers and fitting members 
of the jovial crew. 

** His pot and his tost in the morning he takes. 
And all the day long good music he makes ; 
He wanders up and down, to wakes and to fairs, 
He casts his cap, he casts his cap at the Court and its cares." 

The next is a part song from Hilton's '' Catch as Catch Can." 
By Waiiam ChUd. 1652. 

The Tinker's Song. 
Now God be with old Simeon, 
For he made cans for many an one, 

7rade Songs. 485 

And a good old man was he ; 

And Jinkin was his journeyman, 

And he could tipple off every can ; 

And thus he said to me, 

To whom drink you ? 

Sir Knafty to you. 

Then hey ho» jolly Jinkin, 

I spy a knave in drinking, 

Come trole the bole to mee. 

Now God be with old Simeon, &c«, &c« 

In the old ballad of Michaelmas term, 1655, the following 
stanza occurs : — 

The jovial watermen trim up their botes. 
And to be more pliant in plying their hit$ 
With strong beer and ale they do licker their throats, 
For which they wil wander to the ale-house by pairs. 
And, if the frost do not their labour prevent, 
Abundance of money they daily will earn, 
Which in the vacation will freely be spent, 
And then they will think upon Michaelmas term. 

There is not much morality in the annexed beggar's song, 
which appeared first in '< The pythie and pleasant comoedie of. 
The Three Ladies of London," black letter, written by R. W., 
1592: — 

To the wedding, to the wedding, to the wedding go we. 

To the wedding a begging, a begging all three. 

Tom Beggar shall brave it, and Willy will too, 

Simplicite shall knave it wherever we go ; 

With lustily bravado take care that care will. 

To catch it and snatch it we have the brave skill. 

Our fingers are lime twigges, and barbere we be. 
To catch sheets from hedges most pleasant to see ; 
Then to the ale wifi* round we set them to sale. 
And spend the money merrily upon her good ale. 
To the wedding, to the wedding, to the wedding go we, 
To the wedding a begging, a begging all three. 

486 In Praise of Ale. 

Ajient beggars and swashbucklers, the Alsadaas, who claimed 
sanctuary in Whitefriars, had a high old time according to Sir Walter 
Scott in "The Fortunes of Nigel." TheCouncil of State in Alsatia, 
who met under Duke Jacob Hildebitxl to transact the affairs of the 
Conmionwealth, had first the morning draught at seven o'clock, the 
second for the ante-meridian or whet, and were so prodigal of the la- 
bourson behalf of the State that they seldom broke up before midnight. 

Benjamin Suddlechop, the barber of Alsatia, must have been a 
usefiil man. He could on occasion draw a cup of beer as well 
as a tooth, tap a hogshead as well as a vein, and wash with a 
dranghtof good ale the mustachioes which his art had just trimmed. 

" For he wasn't like one of these dentists in town, 
Who for drawing a grinder would charge you a crown. 
But oh ! if you'd only give him the job. 
He'd draw you all over the shop for a bob." 

Both the Alsatians and — later, in the days of the old Fleet 
prison — the Acolytes had to pay their footing according to their 
means. It were better for the new-comer to do it with a good 
grace, like old Pickwick did in treating his fellow-prisoners, 
and above all the turnkey, liberally : — 

And now, my lad, take them five shilling. 

And on my advice in future think ; 
So Billy pouched them all so willing. 

And got that night disguised'in drink. 

The following is the lament of a by-gone race of pot-boys 
who in older days cheerily cried. Beer Ho ! and carried their 
double row of full shiny pots in a three-sided oblong box in one 
hand, a fidl can for replenishing in the other. The metre might 
be improved, but the sentiment is all right. 

The Pot-Boy Job. 

Oh dear, what a change has seen this nation. 
It's enough to fill one with vexation. 

There's nought for me but sorrow and woe. 
So hear the complaint of the Pot-Boy Joe. 

Cbonu — Hear the lament of Pot-Boy Joe, 
Hear the lament of Pot-Boy Joe. 

Trade Songs. 487 

Once on a time in a public house, 

A man could sit down at snug as a mouse, 

But now they're all gin-palaces, and if tir'd you are, 
You must rest on a dirty tub in front of the bar. 

Hear, etc. 

Then if a man's house is filled with strife. 

And he happens to have a jolly row with his wife, 

He could cut in a tap room and put his steak down. 
And the pot-boy for cooking it got many a brown. 

Hear, etc. 

But now to keep the cold out and from striking in. 
They stand at the bar and drink their gin. 

The dustman with his three ha'porth must treat his Sally, 
And the milkman must have some cream of the valley. 

Hear, etc. 

We once could get good porter without any chaff. 
But the porter they sells now is all half and half, 

Porters won't drink ale but of certain brewin'. 
And the police delight m a dash of blue ruin. 

Hear, etc. 

At shove ha'penny I used to take them in, 

And at tiddly- wink won lots of tin, 
I could sport velveteens, but the thought now grieves, 

I'm forced to put up with a jacket and sleeves. 

Hear, etc. 

Ven I gathered the pots in my morning rounds. 
Of grab from the cooks I got some pounds. 

But now at the bar they show their mugs, 
And for cheapness fetches in their own jugs. 

Hear, etc 

Meny vas the girl that on me vos dead nuts. 
But there's not one now looks at poor Joe Buts, 

My spirits are gone, and I drops a tear, 

And in some wault soon youll find my bier. 

Hear, etc. 

488 In Praise of Ale. 

The Kent Street Club song indicates a re-union of the leading 
tradesmen. It is taken from the songs of the London Ap- 
prentices. There is somewhat of a similarity between this and 
the Joan's Ale series of songs. 

The Good Fellow's FaoucKy or Kent Street Club. 

Here is a crew of jovial blades. 

That lov'd the nut-brown ale. 
They in an ale-house chanc'd to meet, 

And told a merry tale. 
A bonny seaman was the first. 

But newly come to town, 
And swore that he his guts would burst, 

With ale that was so brown. 

See how the jolly carman he 

Doth the strong liquor prize, 
He so long in the ale-house sat. 

That he drank out his eyes ; 
And groping to get out of door. 

Sot like, he tumbled down, 
And there he like a madman swore. 

He lov'd the ale so brown. 

The nimble weaver he came in, 

And swore he'd have a little, 
To drink good ale it was no sin, 

Though't made him pawn his shuttle. 
Quoth he, I am a gentleman. 

No lusty country clown, 
But yet I love with all my heart. 

The ale that is so brown. 

Then next the blacksmith he came in. 

And said "Twas mighty hot," 
He sitting down would thus begin, 

^ Fair maid, bring me a pot ; 

Trade Smgs. 489 

Let h be of the ntj hem. 

That none exceedi b town, 
I tdl you true, and do not jeit, 

I lore the ale to browa." 

The prick loiue tailor he came ia, 

WhoM tongue did run k> nimble; 
And nid, he would engage for driolc, 

Hb bodkin and hit thimhle. 
" For though with long thin jaw* I look, 

I value not a crown, 
So I can have my belly fnll 

Of ale that ii fo brawn.' 

The hitty porter paMOg by. 

With baiket on hu favk. 
He laid, that be waa grievous dry, 

And need* would pawn hit tack. 
Hit angry wife he did not fear. 

He valued not her frown, 
So be had that he bv'd to dear, 

I mean the ale »o brown. 

The next that came wat one of them, 

Wai of the gende craft, 
And when that he wu wet within, 

Moit heartily be laugh'd 
Critpin wai ne'er to boon at he, 

Tho' Bome kin to a crown ; 
And there he lat raott merrily. 

With ale that waa to brown. 

But at the lait a barber, be 

A mind had for to tatte. 
He call^ for a pint of drink. 

And taid be wat in haiCe ; 

490 ^» Praise of Ale. 

The drink so pleased, he tarried there. 

Till he had lost a crown, 
Twas all the money he could spare, 

For ale that is so brown. 

A broom man, as he pass^ by, 

His morning draught did lack ; 
Becaose that he no money had. 

He pawn'd his shirt from 's back ; 
And said that he without a shirt. 

Would cry brooms up and down ; 
" But yet," quoth he, •* Til merry be. 

With ale that is so brown.** 

But when all these together met, 

Oh what discourse was there, — 
'T would make one's hair to stand on end. 

To hear how they did swear ! 
One was a fool and puppy dog. 

The other was a clown. 
And there they sat and swilPd themselves 

With ale that was so brown. 

The landlady they did abuse. 

And called her nasty bore ; 
Quoth she, ^ Do you your reckoning pay, 

And get you out of door ! '* 
Of them she could no money get. 

Which causM her to frown ; 
But loath they were to leave behind. 

The ale that was so brown. 

I am indebted to the Atheiunm^ August 2, 1884, for the 
following comments, which tend to show that women as well as 
men were given to festivity. 

*< It is quite certain that getting drunk was not in the Middle 
Ages thought the disgraceful thing that it is accounted now. 
Women were in the habit of drinking in alehouses and at church 

Trade Songs. 49 1 

ales. In a volume of * Songs and Carols ' of the fifteenth century, 
an unhappy husband lamenu that if his wife 

* will to the good ale ryde 
I must trot all by her side. 
And when she drinks I must abide.' 

And in the romance of 'Merline* we have an account of a 
young lady who got drunk at the ale. In the directory of good 
manners entitled < How the Good Wife taught her Daughter,* 
the young woman is told that 

' If thou be ofte dranke it putte thee to shame.' 

We do not commend the roedixval habit of women frequenting 
alehouses, but have no doubt that with our changed manners it 
seems to us much worse than it was. In many parts of the 
* Continent women go to the cafe without any sense of its being 
improper; we apprehend that the women who went to the 
English alehouse acted with equal innocence. 

** Speaking comparatively, the English were a sober people 
until the use of spiriu became common, and then things got 
yearly worse and worse until a time within human memory. At 
first it is almost certain that spirits were used for their supposed 
medicinal qualities. That they were commonly uken for the 
pleasure they gave before the middle of the reign of Charies II. 
is not proved. Aphra Behn, though there is little to be said on 
the score of the morality of her writings, is a good authority as 
to manners and customs. Any one reading her plays for the 
purpose of finding contributions to a history of drink would come 
to the conclusion that ale and wine were the drink of all except 
the very * fast ' young men about town. Lambs- wool seems to 
have been a favourite drink of the middle and lower ranks in the 
seventeenth century. Mrs Behn alludes to it on several occa- 
sions. In « The False Count ' we read that 

* Djring sacraments do less prevail 
Than living ones, though took in Lambs- wool-ale.' '* 




" In cMege you scorned the art of thinkings 
But learrCd all moods and figures of good drinking J* 


Dryden was rather too hard on the Oxford students when he 
penned the above couplet. The Oxford men, undergrads 
especially, can drink, but, on the other hand, they can work; jtt 
the old colleges have time out of mind been famous for the 
high excellence of their beer, which is in fact the real tuperna" 
ni/tiffiy as the respective butlers of the various colleges vie with 
each other in producing the best and strongest brew. With such 
a theme it is not to be wondered at that many of the odes in 
praise of ale from various pens are the best and most scholarly in 
the language. Brazenose has kept up the custom of the Shrove- 
tide beer oration ; and many of the most eminent, Bishop Heber 
among others, wrote three of them during his novitiate. Many 
of these orations are too local to be reprinted in extmso^ so I will 
only take a few of the best compositions of the Oxford scholars. 
The Butler of Brazenose has collected and re-published many of 
these annual effusions. 

Perhaps the very best of all is Thomas Warton's panegyric 
on ale, written in 1753. 

" Mea nee Falenus 
Temperant vites, neque Formiani 
Pocula coUes ." — Horace. 

Balm of my cares, sweet solace of my toils, 
Hail, juice benignant ! O'er the costly cups 

Oxford Songs. 

Of riot-tdrriD{ wine — anwboloonK draught- 
Let Pride'i Ioom tont prolong the waiteful night. 
My sober etreniog let the tiolurd blets 
With tout imbrown'd and fragrant outineg fraught, 
While the rich draught — with oft-repeated whiRi — 
Tobacco mild tinproTet ; Dirioe repatt ! 
Where no crude wrfeit or intemperate joys 
Of lawlew Bacchus reigoi: but o'er my soul 
A calm letheao creeps: in drowsy trance 
Each thought subsides, and sweet oblivion wraps 
My peaceful brain, as if the magic rod 
Of leaden Morpheus o'er mine eyes had shed 
lu opiate infiuence. What tho' sore ill* 
Oppress: dire want of chill-dispelling coals 
Or cheerful candle the nuke-weight's gleam 
Haply remaining : heart rejoicing ale 
Cheer* the sad scene and er'ry want supplies. 

Meantime, not mindless of the doily task 
Of tutor sage, upon the learned leave* 
Of deep Smiglecius much I meditate ; 
While ale inipirei, and lends ber kindred aid — 
The thought — perplexing labour to punue. 
Sweet Helicon of logic! But if friends 
Congenial call rae from the toilsome page, 
To pot-house I repair — the sured haunt, 
Where, Ale, thy vouries b fiiU resort 
Hold rites DOCtumaL In capacious chair 
Of monumental oak, and antiijuc mould, 
That long has stood the r^ of conqu'ring Time 
Inviolate (not in more ample seat 
Smoke* rosy justice, when th' important cause — 
Whether of henroost or of mirthfiil rape — 
In all the majesty of paunch, he tries}, 
Studious of ease, and provident, I place 
My gladsome bmbs, while In repeated round 
Returai replenish'd the n 

494 ^ Prtuse of Ale. 

And the brisk fire conspires to genial joy. 

Nor seldom to relieve the ling'ring hours 

In innocent delight amosive putt 

On smooth-joint stool, in emblematic play 

The vain vicissitudes of fortune shews. 

Nor reck'ning, name tremendous, me disturbs, 

Nor called for chills my head with sudden fear. 

While in the wonted door (expressive mark!) 

The frequent penny stands described to view 

In snowy characters, a graceful row. 

Hail Ticking! surest guardian of distress, 

Beneath thy shelter, pennyless I quaff 

The cheering cup. Tho' much the poet's friend, 

Ne'er yet attempted m poetic strain. 

Accept this humble tribute of my praise. 

Nor proctor thrice with vocal heel alarms 

Our joys secure nor deigns the lowly roof 

Of pot-house snug to visit : wiser he 

The splendid tavern haunts, or coffee-house 

Of James or Juggins, where the grateful breath 

Of mild tobacco ne'er diffused its balm ; 

But the lewd spendthrift, ^sely deem'd polite. 

While steams around the fragrant Indian bowl, 

Oft damns the vulgar sons of humbler ale. 

In vain : the proctor's voice alarms their joy — 

Just fate of wanton pride and vain excess ! 

Nor less by day delightful is thy draught. 
Heart-easing ale, whose sorrow-soothing sweets 
Oft I repeat in vacant afternoon. 
When tatter'd stockings ask my mending hand, 
Not inexperienc'd, while the tedious toil 
Slides unregarded. Let the tender swain 
Each mom regale on nerve-relaxing tea — 
Companion meet of langour-loving nymph : 
Be mine each mom with larger appetite 
And hunger undissembled, to repair 

Oxford Songs. 495 

To frieodly bott'iyy there on tmokiog crust 
And foaming ale to banquet unrestrained. 
Materia] breakfast ! Thus in ancient times 
Our ancestors robust, with liberal cups 
Usher'd the mdrn, unlike the languid sons 
Of naodem days. Nor erer had the might 
Of Britons brave decayed, had thus they fed, 
With English ale improving English worth. 
With ale irriguous undismayed I hear 
The frequent dun invading lofty dome 
Importunate ; whether the plaintive voice 
Of laundress shriU awake my starded ear. 
Or taylor with obsequious bow advance, 
Or groom invade me with defying look 
And fierce demeanour, whose emaciate steeds 
Had panted oft beneath my goring steeL 
In vain they plead or threat, all-powerful ale 
Excuses new supplies,' and each descends 
With joyless pace and debt-despairing looks: 

E'en Sp y with indignant bow retires. 

Sternest of duns ! and conquered quits the field. 

Why did the gods such various blessings pour 
On helpless mortals from their grateful hands 
So soon the short-liv'd bounty to recall ? 
Thus, while improvident of future ill 
I quaff the luscious unkard unrestrain'd, 
And thoughdess riot in ambrosial bliss. 
Sudden (dire fate of all things excellent ! ) 
The unpitying hand of Bursar's cross-afExing hand 
Blasts all my joys, and stops my glad career. 
Nor now the friendly pot-house longer yields 
A sure retreat when ev'ning shades the skies. 
Nor Sheppard,* ruthless widow, now vouchsafes 
The wonted trust, and Winter* ticks no more. 

* Noted ile-hooaet of Oxford 

496 In Praise of Ale. 

Thus AdaiDy exil'd from the blissful scenes 

Of Eden griev'd, no more in hallow'd bow'r 

On nect*rine fruits to feast, fresh shade or vale 

No more to visit, or vine-mantled grot : 

But all forlorn the naked wilderness 

And unrejoicing solitudes to trace. 

Thus, too, the matchless bard whose lay resounds 

The ^Splendid Shilling's" praise, in nightly gloom 

Of lonesome garrett, pin'd for cheerful ale: 

Whose steps in verse Miltonic I pursue. 

Mean follower! like him, with honest love 

Of ale divine inspired, and love of song. 

But long may boundless Heaven, with watchful care. 

Avert his hapless fete! Enough for me 

That, burning with congenial flame, I dar'd 

His guiding steps at distance to pursue. 

And sing his favorite theme in kindred strains. 

The foregoing epic was so clearly inspired by John Philips' 
poem, ''The Splendid Shilling *' (in imitation of Milton), that 1 
cannot do better than quote a few lines from this well-known 
masterpiece, which was pronounced by one of the best judges 
of his time to have been the finest burlesque written in the 
English language. — Vtde Tatler^ No. 250 : — 

Sing, heavenly muse, 
Things unattempted yet, in prose or rhyme, 
A shilling breeches, or chimeras dire. 

Happy the man who, void of cares and strife, 
In silken or in leathern purse retains 
A splendid shilling : he nor hears with pain 
New oysters ayd, nor sighs for cheerful ale ; 
But with his friends, when nightly mists arise, 
To Juniper's Magpie,* or Town Hall * repairs ; 

* Noted houses at the time when Philips was a student at Christ- 
diurch, somewhere about 1700. 

Oxford Songs. 497 

Where, mindfttl of the nymphs whose wantoo eyes 
Transfixed his soul and kindled amorous flames — 
Chloe or Phyllis — he each circling glass 
Wisheth her health, and joy, and equal love. 
Meanwhile he smokes and laughs at merry tale. 
Or pun ambiguous, or conundrum quaint. 
But I, whom griping penury surrounds, 
And hunger, sure attendant upon want. 
With scanty offiJs and small add tiff* 
(Wretched repast) my meagre corps sustain : 
Then solitary walk, or doze at home 
In garret vile ; and, with a warming puff. 
Regale chill'd fingers ; or from niche as black 
As winter chimney or well-polished jet, 
Exhale Mundtmgiu — ill-perfuming scent. 

The next was evidently penned by an amorous youth, in 
fact, by a masher of the period : — 

Signs of Love at Oxfokd. 

She's as light as the Greyhound^ and fair as the Angd^ 
Her looks than the Mitre more sanctified are ; 

But she flies like the Roebuck^ and leaves me to rage ill, 
Still looking to her as my true Polar Star, 

New /im-ventions I try, with new art to adore, 
But my fate is, alas ! to be voted a Boar; 

My Goats I forsook to contemplate her charms. 
And must own she is fit for our noble Kmg*i Amu. 

Now Crosid and now Jochrfd^ now sad, now elate, 
The Chequers appear but a map of my fate ; 

I blush'd like a Blue^ur to send her a Pheasdmt, 
But she called me a Tiiri, and rejected my present. 

2 I 

498 In Praise of Ale. 

So I moped to the Barky Movjy griey'd in my mind. 
That the Ark from the flood ever rescued mankind ! 

In my dreams Lions roar, and the Green Dragon grins. 
And fiends rise in the shape of the Seven Deadly Sins. 

When I og]e the BeUs^ should I see her approach, 

I skip like a Nag and jump into a Coach; 
She is crimson and white like a Shoulder of Mutton^ 

Not the red of the Ox was so bright when first put on ; 

Like the HoUyhush prickles she scratches my liver, 
While I moan and I die like the Swan by the river. 

The later Brazenose orations are not up to the standard of 
those of an earlier date. 


Brazenose Ale. 

«' Beer aniforheer^'—Cld Proverb. 

•• Maenonii earminh attte.'* — Hon Od. i. vi. 2. 

When Homer wrote he thought it quite the thing 

To ask the muse to teach him how to sing ; 

But such an opening now is rather trite, 

So we'll dispense with Helicon to-night. 

Yet he who fain would write on Brazenose ale, 

(A subject, by the way, that's somewhat stale). 

Must seek some Inspiration, for, I fear, 

'Tis vain to try and find it in the beer. 

• • • • . . . 

Arise ! awake ! men shall not say 
Thine hour of pride has passed away ; 
Arise ! — but soft, this much is clear. 
The first to mend must be the beer. 
In days of old our Brazenose ale 
Made Bass and AUsopp both grow pale. 

Oxford Songs. 

But DOW (alaa ! I griere to thbk it) 
It only make* tboae pale who drink it ; 
Aod that which once ioapired our ttuK 
Can only now intpire diigiuL 
Vet CTCD thiu one brighter tpark 
Ftaihea where all around ii darit, 
For oDce again in B. N. C. 
Thalia greeta Calliope, 
And proud lona's diitant ihore 
Send) ui a Newdigate once more. 

But let UI turn from thete reflectionB 

To other lighter iccollectiona. 

One of our lellowi gone to Cairo, 

Chief Butler to a nx>deni Pharaoh 1 

Condemned to teach (oh, haplcM fate ! ) 

lamtMca to a boy of eight ! 

O Egypt, Egypt, nill the aame, 

" The houie of bondage " ttill thy name ; 

Alaa thy booda, once felt by few. 

Are drad now the whole world throng I 

But near home a gentler theme 
Recall* my lay to Itit' ttream. 
Oh, drink ('tia chivalry that calla), 
A health to the new ladiea* halUl 
Though Girton boaata her wrangler*' &me, 
Let Oxford ttudentt ihun the name, 
Abjure thoae atta too aptly known. 
And aim at peacefiil Grau alone. 

The coming general election 
Demand* a moment of reflection ; 
Shall Liberal connieli rule the land, 
Or Toriei gain the upper hand ! 
Shall flooda of ale, triumphant adll. 
Throw out tbe gnod PcrmitaTe Bill i 

a I s 

500 In Praise of Ale. 

Up, brewera ! arm you for the task ; 
Let influence flow from every cask ; 
Adulterate' your hope and malt 
With endless alum, boundless salt, 
That every glass of ale you pour 
May make the drinker drink the more, 
And so your X in truth may be 
A sign of unknown quantity ; 
Up ! and defend the cause as dear — 
Imperium^ Beaconsfield, and beer. 

And so £irewell ; but ere to-night we part. 
We'll drink one toast, and drink it from the heart : 
Let our last thought on this Shrove Tuesday be 
Health and prosperity to B. N. C. 


B&AZENoss Ale. 

" He that drinks strong beer 
And goes to bed mellow ; 
Lives as he ought to live, 
And dies a jolly fellow." 

Gather once more at Shrovetide, sons of the Childe of Hale, 
Ho ! Mr Prior, prime us with your choicest brew of ale. 
Which brings release from ^ trials " to the votary of the oar, 
And makes the pale-fec'd student forget his classic lore. 
Drink deeply while ye may, sirs; for 'tis rumoured that next 

The brewhouse will be levelled, and good-bye to Brazenose beer. 
May rumour prove a liar^ and distant be the day 
When to Bass, AUsopp, and Guinness, Mr Prior shall give way; 
But if these early leaflets no more your eyes shall greet. 
Like the fabled song of the djring swan, may the last notes be 

Now without further prelude we plunge in nie£as res 
While engaged in the digestion of our pancakes — by degrees. , 

Oxford Songs. • 501 

What meaofi this stiange commotioo 'mongtt the pictores on the 

Why do our benefactors look so exceeding small ? 
Proud Buckingham is shaking in his garter and his shoes. 
And Duchess Sal of Somerset has got a fit of <* blues;" 
King Alfred (twopence coloured) is looking rather glum. 
And would sell himself to Uni?. for a reasonable sum. 

• • • • • • • 

The- Emerald Isle's economy is in a fearful mess; 

But the bold Irish patriots — a despicable sham — 
Amid their country's ruin know how to ^ skin the lamby" 
So flying from Kilmainham and the clutch of the police, 
They've sailed away to Yankee land, and found the ^golden 

• •••••• 

But stay, the cup is empty, the tap is running dry; 

A toast we ne'er forget, sirs, come fill your tankards high: 
Here's to our chief, in B. N. C. long may he play his part, 
Long be his portrait useless, save as a work of art ! 
Here's to our dons and fellows — may they see by next matric. 
That muscle need not always make the brain so very thick. 
[^Mau tana is ** quite precious " — to use a modem term — 
But neglect the corfui tanum and the mens soon grows infirm.] 
A last '' to our noble selves," and may we ever be 
Loyal to Queen and country, our chief and B. N. C. 


«« AU hail, hall ale ! ''—Ghost of Burton. 

One more now joins the throng of hapless wights 
Who vainly strive to climb Parnassus' heights ; 
But he of all that throng has least to fear 
Whose hero's Prior and his subject beer. 
Such noble themes would any breast inspire. 
And e'en in Tupper wake poetic ^r^. 
Who woidd have dared two years ago to say 
This noble beer would still be quaffed to-day ? 

502 fn Praise of Ale. 

With dim forebodings were our miods imbued 
That for the last time Brazenoae ale was brewed. 
Whence came these broodings vain, now no one asks, 
Far better empty threats than empty casks ! 

One task remams, one task, and only brief, 
To drain a bumper to our noble chief; 
And, last of aU, this toast I now propose — 
With brimming tankards drink to Brazen-nose. 

The following Oxford story shows that the Vice-Chancellors 
of Oxford in 1674 were by no means bigotted teetotallers: — 

^ There is over against Baliol College, Oxford, a dingy, horrid, 
scandalous alehouse, fit for none but draymen and tinkers and such 
as by goeing there have made themselves equally scandalous. 
Here the Baliol men continually ly, and by perpetuall bubbeing 
ad art to their natural stupidity to make themselves perfect sots. 
The head, being informed of this, calld them tegeather, and in 
a grave speech informed them of the mischiefs of that hellish 
liquor calld ale, that it destroyed both body and soul, and 
adviced them by noe means to have anything more to do with it; 
but on of them, not willing soe tamely to be preached out of his 
beloved liquor, made reply that the Vice-Chancelour's men 
dranke ale at the Split Crow, and why should not they too ? 
The old man, being nonplused with this reply, immediately 
packeth away to the Vice-Chancelour, and informed him of the 
ill example hb fellows gave the rest of the town by drinkeing ale, 
and desired him to prohibit them for the future; but Bathurst, 
not likeing his proposall, beeing formerly and [stc) old lover of 
ale himaelfe, answared him roughly that there was noe hurt in 
ale, and that as long as his fellows did noe worse he would not 
disturb them, and soe tumd the old man goeing; who, retumeing 
to his coUedge, calld his fellows agam and told them that he had 
been with the Vice-Chancelour, and that he told them there was 
no hurt in ale; truely he thought there was, but now, being 
informed of the contrary, since the Vice-Chancelour gave his men 

Oxford Songs. 503 

leave to drinke ale, he would give them leave to; soe that now 
they may be aots by authority. 

St GsoftGB FOR England. — and Part. 

Written by John Grubb, M.A.y Chriat Churchy Oxford. 

{Fntm the Percy Collection.) 

Faulconbridge. Saint George, — that twing'd the dragon, and 
e'er tmce 
Sits on his horseback at mine hostess's door. 

King John^ Act. II. Sc I. 

Fair Omphale whipt him to his wheel. 

As cook whips barking turn-spit 
From man, or chum, he well knew how 

To get him lasting fame: 
He'd pound a giant, till the blood, 

And milk till butter canoe. 
Often he fought with huge battoon. 

And oftentimes he boxed; 
Tapt a fresh monster once a nnonth, 

As Hervey * doth fresh hogshead. 
He gave Anteus such a hug. 

As wrestlers give in ComwaU : 
But George he did the dragon kill. 

As dead as any door-nail. 
St George he was for EngUnd ; St Denis was for France, 
Sing, Honi loii qui maly pense. 

* A noted drawer at the Mennaid tavern in OxHord. 




0, Girzy / Girzy ! when thou go*st to brew^ 
Consider well what you* re about to do ; 
Be ^}ery whe^ very sedately tlnnk^ 
That what you^re going now to make is drink: 
Consider who must drink that drink^ and then 
What 'tis to have the praise rf honest men. 

At one time in Englandy as in Scotland, the bulk of the brewing 
business was conducted by womeuy *<Ale Wives," who first 
brewed and then retailed their liquor. Hence the impressive 
nature of the above exhortation, which would apply equally to 
the modem high scientific brewers, who are up in germs, ferments, 
and what not, as it did to their more primitive sisters, who never 
heard of a protoplasm in their lives. ** Consider then what 'tis to 
have the praise of honest men.'* 

Dr Cyril Folkingham, who wrote in 1623, was very severe on 
the quacks of the brewing profi?ssion« ^The Mother Fulsums, 
scarce worthie to bear brawn much less the admittance of brewing 
beere or ale, which wanting both art and industrie, marr no more 
mault than they meddle with." The author continues : — 

" But let a neat husswife or canny alewright have the handling 
of good ingredients (sweet mault and wholesome water), and you 
shall see and will say there is art in brewing (as in most actions), 
and that many more, even of those that ayme at brewing the best 
ale, doe yet for all their supposed dexteritie misse the marke, than 
hit upon the mysterie. For you shall then have a neat cuppe of 
nappie ale (right Darbie, not dagger, though efFectuaUy ani- 
mating) wel boyled, defecated, and cleared, that it shall equal the 
best brewed beere in transpareince, please the most curious pallat 

Ale Wives. 505 

with mild quickoetse of relish, quench the thirst, hamoct the in- 
ward parts, helpe the concoction and distribution of meate, and 
by its nKxlerate penetration much further the attractive power of 
the parts. Such a cup of pure comfort (not lanted or gummed) 
find many good fellows that walk er they wash for their morning 
draughts of true Darbie." 

Though a little out of place, I cannot refrain from quoting the 
same learned M.D. m his panegyric on ^ Health and Ale '* : — 

^ Health is the perfection and life of life, and life without it is 
no life, but even a living death, where both animal powers and 
corporal parts suffering, produce but lame and depraved actions. 
Being, therefore, by long and infidliUe experience confirmed in 
approbation of my panala, or panacea, bred or brought forth by 
infusion of a well-dispensed fund or bag of ingredients, in ordinary 
ale (the ancient drink of this country), than which cannot be well 
excogitated a more general worthy medicine, that so cheap and 
choice, without all curiositie doth tuto et jocumde et sai dio qmt 
iot hetUf both conserve the salutary and prevent and cure most 
morbosic afiects and diseases thereunto incident. I could not 
dispense with an absolute concealment of its most precious worth, 
but in some sort participate to the worid the manifold benefits 
derivable from its operation." 

The author then proves *< that ale is a wholesome drinck, con- 
trarie to many men's conceits — that ale is a fit bodic and con- 
venient liquor to imbibe and participate the qualities and virtues 
of ingredients by infusion." 

The old Udies, generally speaking, seemed to love their liquor, 
and were not too proud to sample their own productions. A 
picture of the Scotch Ale Wife and her barrel has already been 
given ; here are two English counterparts : — 

A Tale of a Tankaux 

No plate had John and Joan to hoard ; 

Plain folk in humble plight: 
One only tankard crown'd their board, 

And that was fill'd each night ! 

So6 In Praise of Ale. 

Along whose inner bottom sketched. 

In pride of chubby grace, 
Some nide engrarer's hand had etch'd 

A baby angel's face. 

John swallow'dy first, a moderate sup ; 

But Joan was not like John, 
For when her lips once touch'd the cup 

She drank till all was gone. 

John often urged her to drink fair, 

But she ne'er changed a jot ; 
She loved to see the angel there, 

And therefore drain'd the pot. 

When John found all remonstrance vain. 

Another card he play'd. 
And, where the angel stood so plain, 

A devil got portray'd. 

Joan saw the horns, Joan saw the tail. 

Yet Joan as stoutly quafp'd, 
And ever when she seized her ale 

She clear'd it at a draught. 

John stared, with wonder petrified ! 

EBs hair rose on his pate, 
And — ^** Why do ybu drink now," he cried 

** At this enormous rate ?" 

^ O John," says she, ** am I to blame 

I can't m conscience stop ; 
For, sure 'twould be a burning shame 

To leave the devil a drop." 

John Burton wrote a sort of In memoriam song or parody to the 
tune of "Here's to the Harp." 

Ale Wives. 507 

Heu'i to thi Bottle. 

Here'i to the bottle the loved to much 

And here'i the glan (he draok froiDt 
Here'i the max her lipi oft touch'd, 

The Huff they oerer ibrank from. 
HcrriDgi lay unheeded by, 

Where'* the hand to gut them ? 
Mackerd here neglected lie, 

Where'i the throat to hoot them ? 

Max u good, but ihe I lored 

Ne'er ihall tane iti iweetoeu ; 
Her lipi that once va deetly moTcd 

Now hate lott their fleetoew. 
Gallons were pots when here she strayed. 

Pots were pints to her muzzle, 
Hearen ne'er formed a drunker maid, 

A maid so fond of guzzle. 

John Skelton, who wrote and compiled from Old Authors and 
Old Books, drew tbe lifelike portrait of a by-gone noulnlity, of 
whom tbe Paaij said ; — 

"The Freest and boldest of hii humorous pieces is perhaps ' Tbe 
tunnyog (or brewing) of Elinor Rummyog.' an alewife at 
Leatherhead. It is a [naure in the Dutch style — minute in 
detail, true and homely in character, hiding nothing, softnung 
nothing. Like one of Teniera' * Boor* drinking ' in subject and 
manner of treatment, it hat alio something of his facile slightnest 
and bold certainty of touch. Placing you inside Elinor's commot) 
room, he proceed* to gjve free sketches of the wives who retort 
there — fijr all the cuttomers are feminine — baring firtt given a 
tulSciently un&vourablc portrait of Elinor lieraelf. We may 
quote a pattage or two taken from diHereot pant. Thit is bit 
account of her business : 

" ' But to make up my tale 
She breweih nappy ale. 

5o8 In Praise of Ale. 

And maketh thereof sale 
To traveUers, to dnkere, 
To sweaters,* to swinkers,* 
And all good ale-dnnkers. 
That will nothing spare, 
But drink till they stare, 
And bring themselves bare, 
With, Now away the mare, 
And let us slay care. 
As wise as an hare ! ' 

*' Like a prudent alewife, Elinor does not give trust : but if her 
customers lack cash, she will not refuse goods, and so does a little 
business in the * leaving shop' line. 

'* ' Instead of coin and money 
Some bring her a coney, 
And some a pot with honey. 
Some a salt, and some a spoon. 
Some their hose, and some their shoon ; 
Some ran a good trot. 
With a skellet or a pot. 

• • ■ 

Anon cometh another. 
As dry as the other, 
And with her doth bring 
Meal, salt, or other thing. 
Her harvest girdle, her wedding ring. 

. • • • 

Some bringeth her husband's hood 
Because the ale is good. 
Another brought her his cap 
To offer to the ale tap. 
With hey, and with ho, 
Sit we down in a row 
And drink till we blow 

* Labourer*. 

Ale Wives. 509 

And pq>e tyriy tjrrlow. 

Some laid to pledge 

Their hatchet and their wedge, 

Their heckle and their reel, 

Their rock, their spinning wheel ; 

AjxI aome went ao narrow, 

They laid to pledge their wharrow. 

Their ribskin and their spindle. 

Their needle and their thimble : 

Here was scant thrift 

When they made such shift 

Their thirst was so great 

They asked never for meat. 

But drink, still drink, 

"And let the cat wink ! *' 

• • • • 
Some for very need 

Laid down a skein of thread. 

• • • • • 
Another sort of sluts 

Some brought walnuts, 
Some apples, some pears. 
Some brought their clipping shears. 
Some brought this and that, 
Some brought I know not what.' 

" If our poet is to be trusted, the women of those days had 
manrellous swallows. One, ' hight Sybil,' did 

•• * The pot to her pluck. 
To drink a good luck. 
And swinged up a quart 
At once for her part.' " 

The pictures of the sisterhood gre not flattering by any means, 
but to every obverse there is a reverse, and I extract the annexed 
account from Cbmnhcris Journal for January 1 848. The story 
bears the impress of truth, and shows undeniably that an alewife 

5 lO In Praise of Ale 

can be a kindly hearted, piousy and truly good woman, and entirely 
reverses the teetotal pictures which depict all who deal in malt or 
distilled drinks as emissaries of the evil one. I myself have 
known many kindly men and women who have helped the poor 
in many ways, and yet have belonged to that much abused class 
the publicans. The story in Chamber j^i Journal is too long to 
give in full, so that I can only take an extract. The description 
of the country roadside public is charming. 

The Cornish Alewife ; a Sketch from Life. 

By Mary Bennett. 

Far from the town, where Tamar*s waters flow, 
An alehouse stood, a hundred years or so : 
Quaint was the porch, with ivy clothed about. 
And many a comely fowl marched in and out, 
Graceful and plump, and smooth, of glowing hue. 
The pride of Molly, and her profit too : 
Nor less her pigs, that were so white and clean — 
Pigs so precisely trained were never seen. 
She was a matchless housewife — sooth to say, 
A better never met the face of day. 
Full fifty years she kept this hostelry, 
Hiding itself in orchard greenery ; 
And graced with flowers, in rustic garden set, 
And shaded pasture — slopes that round it met: 
Here the frog leaps, and there the robin sings, 
And here the new-fledged linnet tries his wings : 
Here Molly's cows regaled on scented clover, 
'Till night and Kitty called them under cover. 
Well they knew Kitty — ^thrifty and fair was she, 
And second mistress of the hostelry. 
Few were the guests that brought the hostel gain, 
But cheese and butter were not made in vain ; 
And Molly's clouted cream was known, I wis. 
To fame as far as the Metropolis. 

Ale Wives. 5 1 1 

Twat true tboogh trite, things might hare been much worse — 

Old Molly might have had a lighter purse ; 

She might have had a heavier too, but that 

She had a mind for charity and chat. 

Oft to her porch the wandering beggar came. 

With all the n^ws that he could find or frame, 

The vagrant gossip of the town or dale. 

To charm old Molly for a glass of ale. 

And oft his mite as little as he can. 

Brings to the hostel the poor quarryman ; 

And finds a large return in warmth and ease, 

Kind words, good home-brewed ale, bacon, and cheese, 

Beans, peas, what not —from Molly's ample stores. 

And oft the wind- worn seaman from the shores. 

And oft the swarthy miner from the caves 

Old Molly hailed — she never harboured knaves. 

In chilling winter, when the wind blows fierce, 

And the fell frost's sharp deadly arrows pierce. 

How pleasant by the ale wife's fire to sit. 

Warm, snug, and merry ! while the gay beams flit 

O'er her oak chest like polished mirror bright ; 

Her r^ brick floor, where scarce a soil doth light. 

Her milk-white tables, platters ranged with care. 

Her folio bible and her brass-clasped prayer. 

The subsequent lines record the last illness of Molly, and her 
instructions to her successor : — 

^ Kitty, give thou a horn of ale to the poor 
Miners and quarryroen when I'm no more : 
They'll often miss me as they pass this way ; 
I was not a flint to them that could not pay. 
Beggar or worker — well thou knowest that — 
If folks were honest and observed the mat ; 
For when I found a poor soul hardly driven, 
I lent my mite and scored it up to Heaven." 

5^2 In Praise of Ale. 

What a contrast is the above true story to the £mcy portraiu 
drawn by members of the teetotal party. 

Simple faith is better than Norman blood, as Tennyson puts 
it, eq)ecially when good drink is concerned. 

An Ale Charm. 

During the period when James I. studied the sciences at St 
Andrews, under the tuition of the celebrated George Buchanan, 
every sort of superior learning and knowledge was considered by 
the illiterate and superstitious vulgar, as proceeding from magic, 
or, as it was usually termed, the black art. On this principle 
George Buchanan, on account of his superior attainments in 
literature, was esteemed a wizard. A poor woman, who kept an 
alehouse m St Andrews, and who, by some means or other, had 
lost all her custom, applied to George for his witchcraft assistance. 
After some serious conversation George told her that, if she 
strictly adhered to his instructions, she would soon become very 
rich. To remove all his doubts, she gave him the strongest 
assurances of her punctual compliance with his orders. *' Then, 
Maggie," said the learned wizard, *' the next time you brew throw 
out of the vat six ladlesfull of water in the de'il's name, turning 
between each ladlefull round on the left; this done, put six 
ladlesfull of malt in the vat in God's name, turning round by the 
right between each time ; and, in addition to this, be sure to wear 
this bandage round your neck, and never open it till the day of 
your death." Maggie stricdy obeyed, and in the course of a few 
years accumulated great riches. At her death the bandage was 
opened in a solemn manner, when it was found to contain a label 
of paper, on which were written these words — 

** Gin Maggie brew good ale. 
She will get good sale." 

Here is a story of a successful ale wife, equal to anything in the 
Romance of the Peerage 2 — 

During the troubles in the reign of Charles I., a country girl 
came to London in search of a situation, and, not succeeding 

Ale Wives. 513 

at the had anticipated, applied to be allowed to carry out beer 
from a brew houae, an occupation followed by women who 
were known at "tub-women." The brewer, obeenring our 
heroine to be a good-looking girl, took her out of her low 
situation into his house, and afterwards married her. In a short 
time he died while she was yet comparatively young, and left her 
a very large fortune. She now relinquished the brewery, and, 
for the proper settlement of her husband's affairs, was recommended 
to a Mr Hyde, an aUe lawyer and practitioner, whom she after- 
wards married. This gentleman ultimately became Earl of 
Clarendon. From his marriage he had issue one daughter, who 
was betrothed to, and became the wife of, James II., and mother 
of Mary and Ann, both subsequently queens of England ! 
The following Catnach ballad is not of a high order of merit. 

HiATY Wit. 

- Heavy wet, heavy wet, still I cry. 
Full and fair pou when I am dry 
If so be, you ask me where 
They are drawn I answer here. 
Where on lips their friend forget. 
That's the place for heavy wet. 

Heavy wet, heavy wet, still I cry, 
Meux', Whitbread's, nought care I, 
To the Blue Posb let us go, 
There we'll clouds of 'baccy blow. 
And while we all our cares forget. 
All the year we quaff heavy wet. 

Scemt — Bar of a country public-house. Boy : ** Pint of porter, 
pleaae, ma'am." Landlady: "Who's it for?" Boy: "Father." 
Landlady: "Your fiither? I thought he was a teetotaler?" 
Boy : " So he is, ma'am ; he don't drink it — he only dipt his 
toast in it and eats it." 

2 K 


chapter zvi. 



Tbii fhrcuty to drink a healthy u only trew 
Of drink winch nun of your profesrion brew, 

— Epigram from Percy. 


Long before Cromwell elevated the calling of brewing by pitch- 
forking his old colleagues into the Upper House and the higher 
offices of his Government, the brewer was looked upon as an 
iibportant functionary, taking precedence in the Eling's House- 
hold before the physician. Cromwell, with his burly figure and 
grog-blossom at the end of his nose, looked the typical brewer 
every inch of him. Ireton, his son-in-law, followed the same 
calling ; and Colonel Pride had acted as a brewer's man, or per- 
haps a manager, before he attained his majority. Time out of 
mind the. brewers haver held an honourable place both on the 
Bench and in the Senate ; their numbers have contributed a fair 
contingent to the lower strata of the upper ten ; and now we have 
the apotheosis of Sir Henry Allsopp transferred to the House of 
Lords. The Foleys and other great ironmasters have been en- 
nobled to a greater extent than the brewers ; but the whirligig of 
time brings about strange revenges, so we may hope to see that 
the enormous benefactions, works of charity, which many 
members of the craft have endowed and carried out, will in due 
time receive fitting recognition from the powers that be. 

Those who carp at the brewing and licensed victuallers' trades 
would do well to remember the immense amounts which they 
contribute annually in the form of educational and charitable en- 
dowments, and the many thousands of children they have been the 
means of educating in a godly and practical manner. These 

Brewers. 515 

uudtntioDs are laidng and noble monaments in eridcnoe of the 
munificence of the trades, and second only in importance to thote 
supported by that loyal and noUe band who meet together for 
brotherly love, relief, and truth, and of whose institutioo it may 
be truly said, '* Kings shall be thy nursing fathers.'' 

Old Taylor, paradoxically named the ^ Water Poet,'' for he 
seldom drank the limpid, and wrote perhaps more about beerhouses 
than any man, could not refrain from a flmg at the brewen^ though 
he admits that he had to *■ whet his whistle " before he could get 
up sufficient dirine afflatus to pen the following (/^n^, 162 i ) : — 

Thb Tradi 07 Buwmo. 

<« Of all trades in the world, a brewer is the loadstone which 
draws the customs of all functions unto it. It is the mark or 
upshot of every man's ayme, and the bottomlesse whirlepook that 
swallows up the profits of rich and poore. The brewer's art 
(like a wild kettrell or lemand hawke) flies at all game ; or like 
a butler's boxe at Christroaase, it is sure to win, whosoerer loses. 
In a wordy it rules and raignes (in some sort) as Augustus Caesar 
did, for it uxeth the whole earth. Your innes and your ale- 
houses are brookes and rivers, and their clients are small rills and 
springs, who all (very dutifully) doe pay their tributes to the 
boundless ocean of the brewhouse. For, all the worid knowes, 
that if men and women did drinke no more than sufficed nature, 
or if it were but a little extraorfUnary now and then upon 
occasion, or by chance as you may terme it ; if drinking were 
used in any reason, or any reason used in drinking, I pray ye what 
would become of the brewer then ? Surely we doe lire in an age 
wherein the seren deadly sins are erery man's trade and linng.* 
• ** Pride is the maintainer of thousands, which would else peritb ; 
as mercers, taylors, embroydrers, silkmen, cutters, dnwers, 

* ^^Some,** ooDtinuet the author, who oreHlowt in a fbotnoti^ " make a 
profit of qutneUing ; lome pick their UHngi out of oootcotioa and debate ; 
tome thrite and grow fiit by gluttooy ; many are braTely maintained by 
bribery, theft, cheating, roguery, and TiUaioy ; but pat til these together, 
and joine to tliem all torti of people elae, and they all in general are 
drinkcn, and oonaeqiiently the brewer's cUenti and caatomenL* 

2 K 2 

5 1 6 In Praise of Ale. 

sempstersy laundresses, of which functions there are millions 
which would starve but for Madame Pride, with her changeable 
fashions. Letchery, what a continual crop of profits it yields, 
appears by the gallant thriving and gawdy outsides of many he 
and she, private and public sinners, both in citie and suburbs. 
Covetousnesse is embroydered with extortion, and warmly lined 
and furred with oppression ; and though it be a divell, yet is it 
most idolatrously worshipped by those simple sheep-headed 
fboles, whom it hath undone and beggared. I could *speake of 
other vices, how profitable they are to a commonwealth ; but my 
invention is thirsty, and must have one carouse more at the brew- 
house, who (as I take it) hath a greater share than any in the 
gaioes which spring from the world's abuses. 

'* If any man hang, drowne, stabbe, or by any violent meanes 
make away his life, the goods and lands of any such person are 
forfeit'to the use of the king ; and I see no reason but those 
which kiU themselves with drinking should be in the same estate, 
and be buried in the highways, with a stave drove thorow them ; 
and if I had but a grant of this suite, I would not but that in 
seven yeeres (if my charity would but agree with my wealth) I 
might erect almeshouses, fire schooles, mend highways, and make 
bridges ; for I dare sweare that a number (almost numberlesse) 
have confessed upon their death-beds that at such and such a 
time, in such and such place, they dranke so much, which made 
them surfeite, of which surfeite they languished and dyed. The 
maine benefit of these superfluous and manslaughtering expenses 
comes to the brewer ; so that, if a brewer be in any office, I hold 
him to be a very ingrateful man if he punish a drunkard ; for 
every stiffe, pot-valiant drunkard is a post, beam, or pillar, which 
holds up the brewhouse ; for as the barke is to the tree, so is a 
good drinker to the brewer/ 

• He loved to give the brewers a sly dig, though he was a good 
friend to them. Note the next stanzas : — 

The Brewe&'s Coachman. 

Honest William, an easy and good-natur'd fellow, 
Wou'd a little too oft get a little too mellow : 

Brewers. 5 1 7 

Bodf coachnuD wai he to an enunent brewer — 
No better e'er tax. on a box, to be fare. 
Hii coach WH kept clean, and no mothen or nunea 
Took that care of their babei that be took of hii honei. 
He bad thete — ay, and fifty good qnalitiei more, 
Bat the butinen of tipliog cou'd ne'er be got o'er; 
So )ut master effectually nKDded tbe nutter 
By hinag a nun who drank nothing but water. 
Now, William, ny« he, you fee the plain cate : 
Had yaa drunk as he doet, you'd kept a good place. 
Drink water! quoth William — had all men done to. 
You'd ncTer hare wabted > coachman, I trow : 
TbeyVe aoaken, like me, whom yoa load with reproacbet. 
That enable you brewera to ride b your coachet. 
The brewer alluded to in thu Rory erideotly preferred acting 
on tbe following epigram freely trantlated from Horace, book 

Ned it a tober fellow, they pretend — 
Such wou'd I have my coachman, not my friend. 
Pennant, in hi* day, took up the cudgeli in deficnce of the 

" It ii not in my power," continue* Pennant, " to trace the pro- 
grett of thit important article of trade. Let me only tay that it it 
nowanationalcoocero; for the duty on malt, from July 5th, 178$, 
to the tame day in 1 786, produced a million and a half of money 
to tbe tupport of the Sute from a liquor which UTigoratci tbe 
bodiei of itt willing tubjectt, to defend the Uettingi they enjoy i 
while that from Stygian ^ eoerratet and incapadtatet. One of 
thete cbtvaUm dt main (at an impertinent Freachroan ityled > 
mott resectable gentleman of tbe trade — tbe late Humphrey 
Partooi) hat, within one year, contributed not leti than fifty 
thousmd pouodt to hit own thare. The tight of a great Loadoo 
brewhouie exhibiu a magnificence untpeakaUe. The Tettelt 
exhibit tbe extent of the trade. Mr Meux,ofLiquorpond Street, 
Gray't Inn Lane (now Reid'a Brewery, Clerkenwell Road), 
ont bow twenty-four tuni^ cootainiag in all thiny-five tbouBUKl 

5i8 In Praise rf Ale. 

barreb of wfaoleMmie liquor, which enables the London porter 
drinkers to undergo tasks that ten gin drinkers would sink under. 
In the present year he has built a vessel sixty feet in diameter, a 
hundred and se?enty-six feet in circumference, and twenty-three 
fleet in heighL It cost fiye thousand pounds in building, and 
contains from ten to twelve thousand barrels of beer, valued at 
about twenty thousand pounds." 

Mr Flowers, a Hertfordshire brewer, in the beginning of the 
century penned the followmg eloquent defence of the trade to 
which he belong^ :^ 

^ If we take a retrospective view of that class of society, recog- 
nized by law under the name of common brewers, it may be said, 
without fear of contradiction, that a more respectable set of people 
for propriety, mtegrity, industry, and liberality never yet existed. 
I might challenge a comparison with all the different ranks of 
society — the fiumer, the mechanic, the tradesman, the merchant, 
the lawgiver, the magistrate, the clergy, the commons, and the 
nobility. It is, however, invidious to find &ult with whole 
classes of society ; because there are good men amongst all. I 
shall, therefore, forbear any comparison ; yet no men have been so 
much abused or unjusdy calumniated as the common brewer; none 
have borne such treatment with more exemplary patience. As 
* a good name is better than riches,' I am induced to examine the 
charges made against them, and point out their &llacy and injustice." 

I take it that much of the abuse of which Mr Flowers com- 
plained was more in the nature of *' chaff'' than downright 
invective. Take for instance the next dedicatory lines firom the 
*« Vade Mecnm to Malt Worms," a book written entirely in the 
interests of publicans and brewers. The latter class can stand 
chaff, but naturally enough object to the downright coarse abuse 
which the jo-called temperate people delight to indulge in at their 
expense. Now for the dedication, which in a measure I will 
appropriate to myself:^ 


To you. Right Wordiipful the Brewers ! 
These 6cts and scraps of Course are yours. 

Brmers. 519 

Became they treat of Rickiiig Facet, 

Applies for Favoon and for Gracet, 

In ereiy one'i reipectire Station, 

By vay of fonna] DnncanoN : 

Hoping, at leait, you'll thow your fireedio^ 

Id ginog them ■ tranaent Reading : 

And will allow kudc Minoitt Lei*ure 

From CuH-BooE that 'makei known your Treaiore 

To look on Boot without OSence, 

Telia you by whom you get yom' PixCB ; 

To whom you are younelvea beholding, 

Their Cuatoma and their Tunc unfolding % 

Which from the Muh-Tui and the Vat, 

Mount yoa up to the Lord know* what. 

Make you to Coach youraelrea and Spouaet, 

And build up Palacei for Hooaea, 

What if 't aome chapt of youn affront *. 

Muit you rtraight cry out, Fye upon "t i 

SuK men of Bi/ng-Holu and of Gaann 

Can't he ao denitute of BaatKi 

Aa not to know from whence ariae 

The golden heapa that glut their Eyet, 

Eapedally nncc not a Line 

Prmnti their gulling Foob of Coni, 

But adda to what they'iv got before, 

Pcnnting out Placet o'er and o'er 

Where the beit li^gor't to be had, 

\inthout one word of drink that't b«d. 

Then, Doughty Sona of Hon and Malt, 

Say not our author ia in Fault, 

Or for ditcoveiing foolith pranks, 

Deaerving anything but thanka ; 

Not that be fan what thall entue, 

For at tome Bau bo aome may BtEw; 

Or dreadt the kait impending Danger 

From the Caprice of Fnend or Straogert 

Since he declaica, the wordt Wak Hawe I 

S20 In Praise of Ale. 

Shou'd White Apron, Blue Apron baulk* 

It ii decreed — Nor shall your Fate 

(If you of Malt and Hops abate, 

If one of you be caught so hardy. 

As to be caught in Duty^Tardy) 

Be otherwise than that which Rome 

Assigned to be a Murd'rer's Doom : 

For take him rightly, too much water 

Is fuU as criminal a matter 

As an3rthing that calls for Satyr. 

And he that could good Guzzle praise, 

Can, when 'tis bad, Invectives raise, 

And for Redress find Means and Ways, 

Since 'tis noost evidently sure 

He'll quit the Ale-Draper for the Brewer, 

Turn Justice to its proper Course, 

And place the Saddle on the Right Horse. 

These are the Schemes he has in view, 

So, Gentry of the Dray, 


The beer of England was well known and appreciated on the 
Continent at a very early period. In fact, AUsopp's ale was 
better known m Russia at the beginning of this century than it 
was in London, and that firm did an enormous European trade, 
until Napoleon on the one hand, and the Emperor of Russia on 
the other, prohibited the importation of English beer, and so for 
a time almost ruined AUsopp's trade. This prohibition did not 
extend to black beers, and hence AUsopp's misfortune became 
Barclay & Perkins' opportunity, of which they prompdy availed 
themselves, and did an enormous trade on the Continent in their 
justly celebrated stout. 

It is satisfactory to find that the English brewers still maintain 
the high character of their liquor by genuine means. 

At the friendly reunion between the French, Belgian, and 
Burton brewers, which took place in 1885, Sir Arthur Bass 
made a few remarks anent Burton beer which deserved to be re- 

Brewers. 521 

membered by all. I quoW horn memoiy, but the purport of his 
remarki was to the effect that in Burton they had do royal 
method in the production of their choice ale : its excellence was 
simply due to the choice quality of the malt and hops they used, 
combined, of course, with the finest supply of natural water in the 
world for the purpose. This water is produced m nature's oWn 
laboratory, and, though innumerable attempts have been made by 
chemisu to imitate it, they have always been &ilures and have 
served to illustrate the old axiom that chemists can decompose 
but they cannot re-compose ; and they certainly cannot compose 
Burton water. It is gratifying, in these days of hop and malt 
substitutes and other abominations, to know that the princes of 
the trade still adhere to the genuine malt and hops in the con- 
coction of their world-renowned drink. 

The following figures from Kutlo^t Gazetie show that the 
English trade shows no signs of falling off. 

A return of the beer production of the various countries last 
year shows that Germany ranks second, the first place bemg taken 
by Great Britain, whose production was 44,060,000 hectolitres, 
or 125 litres per head of the population, there being 27,050 
breweries in that country ; while Germany with 2 59989 bieweries, 
produced 41,2 1 1,691 hectolitres, an average of 90 litres per bead 
of the population. The breweries in Germany last year increased 
85, and the beer production increased 1,883,023 hectolitres. 

Recendy there has been a marked tendency to convert private 
brewing firms into joint stock undertakings, although it is but 
seldom that the largest concerns have to appeal to the general 
public for subscriptions, as the shares are usually taken up entirely 
by the firms themselves. In this way the fiiUowing well-known 
brewing firms have been cooverted into joint-stock companies during 
the year: — Messrs Watney 5c Co., with a capital of ;^i,300^ooo; 
Messrs Meux & Co., capital j£ 1,500^000; Messrs Allsopp, capital 
;^3,300,ooo; Messrs Guineas k Co., capital, j£6,ooo»ooo; 
Messrs H. & G. Simoods, capital ;^500,ooo ; Messrs Gleadow, 
Dibb & Co., capital ;^200/xx> ; Messrs Morgan Bros., Forest 
Hill, capital j£ 1 00,000 ; besides many other smaller concerns. 

It is calculated that Great Britain brews about 1,050,000,000 

522 In Praise of Ale. 


galloDfl of beer yearly; Geniiaoy,\ 90090C(Vxx>; Auitria* 
270,000,000; Belgium, 180,000,000; France, 150,000^000; 
Rotna, 50,000^000 ; Holland, 33,000^000 ; Denmark, 
30,00(^000; Sweden, 20,000,000; Switzerland, 17,000,000; 
Norway, i6,5op,ooa 

The malt conramed in England by brewen between October 
ist, 1879, and Sepfeember 30th* 1880^ amounted to 41,925,006 
boahels ; the yictnallert m the same period consomed 4,996,084 
bdthelfl, and the penont licensed to sell beer to be drank on and 
off the premises consumed 2,713,225 bushels. 

I need not cpioDe statistics further, mteresdng as they may be in 
the way of political economy, to show the immense importance 
of the trade. Those who wish to pursue the inquiry will find all 
the statistics duly recorded in M 'Culloch's Dictionary, and the 
Excise, Revenue, and Board of Trade Returns. The total 
amount invested in the liquor trades of the United Kingdom 
amounts to ;^ 117,100,000: thus apportioned — England, 
;^92,3i5,ooo; Scodand,^ 13,344,000; Ireland,;^! 1,441,000. 

Only second in importance and amount to cotton comes beer 
and its congeners, and yet, marvellous to relate, some of our 
would-be statesmen and legislators, with rash and ill-considered 
schemes, would disorg^mise this vast interest, with iu capital of 
j^i 17,000,000 audits formidable army of 1,500,0000 depen- 
dents! What wonder, when we reflect not. only upon the 
industrial but also the social bearings of the question, that any 
interference with the national beverage — the poor man's pmt of 
beer — 1% jealously regarded. No doubt reform m the drinking 
habits of this country is desirable ; but no apprentice-hand should 
undertake to eilect this : it is a task, moreover, which cannot be 
dealt with in a fimatical spirit, but must be entered upon with the 
utmost care, and be conducted with the greatest tenderness towards 
existing mterests, and considerations for the hatnts, customs, and 
even prejudices of the free people of these isles. The statesman 
who shall succeed in making England a more sober nation will 
deserve its everlasting gratitude, and secure for himself undying 
fame. Meanwhile, the people are yearly becoming more sober, 
and to this result the brewers themselves are contributing largely 

Brewers. 523 

both by precqit and example. The late Mr M. T. Ban, who 
was an earnest temperate man m the highest sense of the term, 
that is, of advocating moderation in all things, wrote to me a letter 
shortly before his death, — ^a letter from which I take the liberty of 
<{QOCing one noteworthy passage : — 

** There can be no doubt that the purity of the liquor consumed, 
of whatever sort, must contribute in a great degree to temperance. 
It may become an mterestmg question whether it is not desirable 
to discourage, in a great degree, all beverages which contribute to 
drunkenness when consumed without great caution." 

This supports the argument I have advanced throughout, that 
if men would confine themselves nx>re to genuine English beer, 
and eschew vile spirits, doctored port, ** Hambro' sherry,'* and 
^ prune wine," we should as a nation become more sober and 
enjoy better health. 

When Thrale's brewery m Southwark was sold after his decease, 
Dr Johnson, who had been a great friend of the hospitable 
brewer, took care to explain ** that they were not met to sell old 
hoops and barrels, but the potentiality of growing rich beyond the 
dreams of avarice." llie then Messrs Barclay & Perkins bought 
the potentiality, and, we may well believe, have made good use of 
it. The only thing we remember that ruffled the uniform 
smoothness of their daily life occurred in or about 1 849, when 
the Austrian general, Haynau, went to **do" the brewery, which 
was one of the sights of London. Haynau, rightly or wrongly, 
had the credit of being a woman flogger, whereupon the gallant 
brewers of Barclay took upon themselves to avenge the cause of 
the fiur sex. Haynau was floored with a trass of hay, and 
somewhat mauled, in ha, ; and, after having been ^ chivied " all 
round the brewery, found refuge in a dust bin, from whence he 
was rescued somewhat the worse for wear. Oh 1 what a row» 
what a rumpus and a rioting there was on that occasion, which wu 
the sensation of the day, and almost led to a diplomatic rapture 
between the courts of England and Anstrii. Old Dr Samuel 
spoke prophetically when he said, *^ The potentiality of growing 
rich beyond the dreams of avarice." Some of our larger brewing 
firms 9ttm to have secured this potentiality, though the smaller 

5M InPrauerfAle. 

ones miSkr propoitioiiately. To do the former justice, however^ 
they in moit cases dvt^tt their wealth right royaliy. 

The bottled beer trade is bat an mddence of the brewing, but 
it inrolves an immense amount of labour and capital. 

When Dean Nowell had to make himself scarce, and hid 
away his botde of beer, and then, a few years afterwards, redis- 
torfoed his treasure and found it *^ not a bottle, but a gun, such 
was the sound of it when opened," as the veracious chronicler 
Fuller bforms us, he little dreamed of the enormous impetus 
which his accidental discovery would give in future ages to the 
home and foreign trade in the shape of bottled beer, which has 
now assumed gigantic proportions, and, in delicacy of manipula- 
tive skill, the dignity of a fine arL The soul of the export 
botder needs to be a prophetic one, that will enable him to judge 
not so much as to how the beer tastes now, but how it will turn out 
after it has '^ crossed the Line" and received its baptism of fire under 
the tropics, or at the Antipodes. To show the enormous extent to 
which the export of bottled beer goes on, I will take one repre- 
sentative firm, Messrs Read Brs., who confine themselves exclu- 
sively to the foreign trade, and are one of the largest export firms. 

Their castellated building, in the Scottish baronial style of 
architecture, is an imposing and picturesque structure on the 
Midland Railway at Kentish Town. The trucks that are 
loaded at the Burton sidings are unloaded at Messrs Read's 
wharf, and again re-loaded with full bottles packed in cases, 
which they deliver in turns at the various docks for shipment to 
all parts of the world, so that the greatest economy of haulage 
and tnmsit is efiected. The firm confine their operations in ale 
to Messrs Bass and Meux' production, their normal stock in 
Kentish Town being 2,400 hogsheads in process of maturing, in 
addition to the enormous stocks they keep on hand in Burton. 
The average weekly turnout exceeds 60,000 bottles. The usual 
stock of botdes amount to, say, 700,000. The machinery used 
in corking and pressing is the invention of Messrs Read, but the 
wiring, capsuling, and labelling are done by hand, and it is re- 
markable what wonderful rapidity the botding lads acquire in the 
constant practice of their art ; in short, they wire their corks 

Brewers. 525 

with skill and dexterity. Messrs Read very properly point out 
that the responsibility of bottling is a serioos one, for if the ale is 
not bottled at the right time, the results will be disastrous, and as 
the various brewings differ as to the time at which they mature, 
a knowledge of the right moment when a butt is in prime 
bottling condition can only be obtained by long experience and 
observation, whilst the effects of climatic changes and conditions 
in the ale have also to be studied. I have instanced Messrs 
Read's bottling establishment not in any invidious spirit, for I 
know Messrs Foster's and other firms turn out an enormous 
quantity of bottled ale, but I have no data of the amount, and, 
moreover, Messrs Read confine themselves exclusively to the 
export trade, and their ^ Bull dog " brand is deservedly known 
in all parts of the world, where it creams, mandes, and at once 
exhilarates and refreshes the thirsty wanderer, and makes him 
bless Burton and its beverage. As the Irishman very properly 
remarks — 

A bottle is good when it's not too new, 
I'm fond of one, but I dote upon two. 

We were told by a great authority who wrote just after the 
Indian Mutiny of 1857, that if the English had been turned out 
of Hindostan at that time, the only relics of their rule which 
they would have left behind them would be gigantic piles of pale 
ale bottles. 

As Punch puts it, the real bitter cry of London is the demand 
for Bass and Allsopp, to which might be added that for the 
cooling beverage of Ind Coope U. Co. Messrs Reid's output 
therefore aggregates 3, 1 20,000 bottles annually. Enormous as 
these figures are, however, they are put into the shade by Messrs 
Bass, whose aggregate annual issue of labels to their various bottling 
agenu amounts to over a hundred millions. We have then to con- 
sider what Messrs Allsopp, Meuz, Ind Coope, and the other well- 
known brewers, turn out, to get any adequate idea of the labour 
and capital involved in the botding trade. After that one can 
well believe the travellere' ules, that they have seen the apex of 
the Great Pyramid adorned with Bass' labels, and the empty 

526 In Praise tf Ale. 

bottlet lying about in profusioD. Another tnnreller relates that 
in Central Ruana a grandee will give his most distinguished 
friends as a treat a bottle of Bass, which is prized more highly 
than the oldest and finest Johannisberg. So highly is the 
precious ambrosial nectar esteemed, indeed, that it costs 1 2s. 6d. 
per bottle, and host and guests sip it with silver teaspoons ! I 
quote this story for what it is worth, but I do know, that some 
years ago, at one foreign port and coaling Hation, the officers of 
the army and nayy were charged most exorbitant prices for 
bottled ale, and I was threatened with an action for heayy 
damages for baring exposed the extortion b a newspaper article. 

Burton is the hub of the brewing world, as Boston is of the 
Uniyerse, yet, except locally, the ales were comparatiTely litde 
known until the commencement of the century. This arose from 
the cost of inland transit, which was carried on by means of the 
old common stage waggon, and was of course ruinous. It was 
not dll the passing of the Trent Navigadon Act of 1 698 that the 
trade began to assume any importance among the Staffordshire 
industries. Brindsley followed later on with his network of 
canals and inland navigation, and then the town came to first and 
foremost. The Midland Railway put the crown of prosperity on 
the town ; and the development of the beer industry during the 
past half century has been something marvellous. 

At that rate one might well re-echo -Lord Neave's wish, 
which would imply a modest competence : — 

^ When the evening of life comes with temperate ray. 
To cool the hot blood that has boiled all the day ; 
May some sober pleasures that season attend, 
And Fortune still leave us a bottle and friend." 

The Rev. Richard Warner, writing in 1804, said : — Burton- 
on-Trent employs seven breweries ''in making that rich and 
glutinous beverage named after the town, and well known in the 
neighbourhood of Gray's Inn Lane — < balm of the cares, sweet 
solace of the toils,' of many an exhausted limb of the law, who 
at the renowned Peacock reinvigorates the powers with a nipper- 
kin of Burton ale and a whiff of the Indian weed." 

Breteert. 527 

According to the cnunt of tSzi, there were oolj 867 men 
aad 6 1 boyi engi^ed m nZT the brewcriei then in work at Butoo. 

At the preaent ttme, the number ii 17, the following beiog 
the name* of the Tariooi finni :— AllMipp & Soni, Bav ft 
Co., Bell & Co., Bardie; & Co., Boddington & Ca. Bovrier 
Brt., Bnrton Brewery Company, Cbarringtoa & Co.i Cooper 
tt Co., Dawion Sc Co.. Ewlie, Jak Eraihed, S. Green ft 
Clarluoa, Hill ft Son, Irnl Coope ft Co., Mnn, Croanaan ft 
Paolra, Mantoa ft Sou, NnoDely, Joteph, ft Caj Porter ft 
. Son, RobinaoD ft Co., Salt ft Co., Syke* ft Co., Thompaoa ft 
Son, Tfuman, Haoboiy, Buxton ft Co., Walker ft Son, 
Walker Peter, Execn. of j Worthingtoo ft Co. 

The mainapriog of the great ucceM of the Barton biewera ia 
nndoubtedly due to the peculiar quality of the water. It ia 
known, ny* the Lmett, that thne alea ipeedily become bright 
and clear, that they oerer require "fioinga" to be employed, and 
are 6t for uk almoft ai toon ai Ivewed. Now the depurating 
power of lime u well known, inaamuch that it hai long been em- 
ployed ia tbe clarification of caoe and other Tegnable juicM { and it 
it, no doubt, to the preteoce and predpttatioD of thit nbataoce that 
the action of tbe Burton water in rendering beer traniparent and 
bright ii attributable i It It curioua, contjauet Dr Buahoan, that 
water pouetang theae peculiar propeitiet it confined to certain 
localitiet in thii dinrict, aeparated in loroe iaitancet only a few feet 
from each oth^. It ia a fact that more than one brewery attempted 
ID Burton-on-Trent baa been cloaed, became, being Btuated at 
tbe other eod of tbe town, the apeculatora have found the water 
of a totally different quality, and their outlay of labour and capital 
ha* prOTcd utteHy fhiitleM. The retult wai foretold by the elder 
Darwin : — ** I cannot leave thii account of the calceroua or hard 
water of Bunoa without adding that I tuppote, from the great 
affinity between calcareoua earth and tulphuric add, may be ez- 
plained a drcumttaoce, the theory of which baa nerer been 
undentood, and therefore the (act haa generally been doubted, 
and that ia, that hard water* make itronger beer than aoft ooet. 
I appeal to the brewera of Button for tbe fact, who have the aoft 
water of the Trent running on one nde of their bnwhooaea, and 

5^8 InPrauerfAU. 

yet prefer oiUTeraaUy the harder calcareous water supplied by their 
pump. I suppose there may be some saccharine quality with 
malt (which is not all of it equally perfectly made into sugar by 
the Teget^le digesting power of the germinating barley) which 
by its attracting the calcareous earths of hard waters may produce 
a kind of mineral sugar, which, like the true sugar, may be con- 
vertible into spirit." 

As no notice of the brewing trade could be made without 
roAitiomng the two kings thereof — Bass and Allsopp — a short 
sketch of the rise and progress of these houses will not be out 
of place. I will commence with the late Baron Hindlip, who 
will now, 1887, be always better known as Sir Henry Allsopp, 
as Lord Beaconsfield was as Benjamin D'lsraelL 

Dr Shaw, in his <' History and Antiquities of Stafibrdshire, 
1 798,** in speaking of the brewing trade of Burton, says : — ** The 
first origin of this business here was about ninety years ago, and 
simply commenced with a few public-houses ; and one Benjamin 
Prilson (a misprint for Wilson) was the first who began in a 
small way the business of a common brewer. This Benjamin 
Wilson was either the father of the first great brewer of Burton 
ales, or, it may have been himself, for his letters (still extant) 
show that he had established a fine flourishing foreign trade in 
Burton ales in 1 748." 

I am indebted to much of the following to a clever little work 
on ''Burton and its Beer," written by Dr Bushnan in 1852, 
who takes up the thread of the narrative where Dr Shaw leaves 

''To found by individual exertion, a new trade which shaU 
enrich a whole community ; to establish a great mercantile house, 
and so to consolidate the character of its productions as to ensure 
not only a continuance of its reputation, but a permanent advantage 
to the locality where its operations are carried on — are works of 
no ordinary merit — tasks demanding no small expenditure of 
labour, and the possession of no ordinary talent. Fortunate, 
indeed, was it for the town of Burton-on-Trent that m Benjamin 
Wilson and his successor, Samuel AJlsopp, it possessed two men 
equal to such works. A man more competent than Benjamin 

Brewers. 529 

Wilson cannot be eaaly imaginecL With a mind firm and dit- 
ciplinedy comprefaennre in hia views of bnsinessy and at the same 
time minutely careful in details, he was of a truly large spirit, yet 
a shrewd financier ; the very soul of honour, and thorough man of 
business; a theorist, yet a practical man; a speculator, yet of 
caution bordering on closeness. True in his friendships, exact in 
his engagements, simple in manners, hearty in fiedings, amiable in 
demeanour, courteous m all communications, he never lost a friend 
or made an enemy ; he extended his transactions without creating 
jealousy, and rendering every customer a warm partizan. The 
character he achieved for his brewery he regarded as the best 
legacy he could leave to his children* Such was the character of 
' Old Benjamin Wilson/ as he was aflecdonately called, and his 
character has been well maintained by his successors. In those 
early days the cost of transit by the common stage waggon was 
such as to prohibit Burton beer in London, except to the very 
wealthy and exclusive classes, and it is strange to read that 
Benjamm Wilson's Burton beer was better known in Russia, 
where he did a large trade, than it was in the metropolis. The 
Empress Catherine, and the grand old savage Czar Peter, 
freely drank the beer at their respective Courts long be- 
fore it became popular at St James' under the Four Georges. 
From the lives of the Sovereigns of Russia we learn that the 
order of drinking was, ' A cup of brandy, after which succeed 
great glasses of adulterated Tokay and between whiles a bumper 
of the strongest English beer,' supplied by. the founder of 
the house of AUsopp. The beer was tried firtt as a luxury, 
and then became a necessity* The foregoing facts were supplied 
by Messrs Allsopp & Ca" 

The accuracy of the firm's statements is confirmed by ^Seaward's 
Anecdotes," published in 1823. 

The Alexander referred to was the First, and reigned over 
Russia from 1801 to 1825, so that we can fix the date of the 
story within a quarter of a century* <* The Emperor Alexander, 
returning from Cronstadt, when the weather was roost oppressively 
hot, halted at a little village in consequence of a relay of horses 
not being ready. An English merchant, who had an adjacent 

2 L 

SSO In Praise of Ale. 

country house, with that warmth of heart which forgets and sur- 
passes all etiquette, ran out and presented to the Emperor a glass 
of Burton ale, which his Majesty, with his usual affability, drank, 
and thanked his host. Both the Emperor and the merchant 
forgot that the beverage was prohibited, or secretly relished it the 
more on that account." 

Again, according to '< Mayor's Tours," published in 1805, 
the writer ^ set off in the coach to Litchfield, thence to Burton, 
£sunoas for its ale, which a late empress is said to have been 
extremely partial to." The writec might have taken the trouble 
to have found out which empress, and have given the date ; but 
from Messrs Allsopp's account we take it to have been* Catherine 
of Russia. 

When the Trent Navigation Bill had passed and the work 
carried out, the trade of Burton was extended to Hull, the then 
great port of the Baltic ; and a large and extending business was 
done by ^old Benjamin Wilson" with the North Sea captains, 
who liked the liquor themselves and introduced it to their 
respective ports. The records and business letters of the founder 
of the firm are interesting as showing the gigantic results that have 
sprung from small beginnings. In 1774 Mr Wilson wrote: <* We 
have already two large brewhouses employed, and about to use a 
third. With respect to the quantity of ale likely to go to St 
Petersburg, it would be very considerable could the order be com- 
pleted ; but, from various causes, that is impossible. The other 
ports have made considerable demands upon us this year, so that 
though a great deal of ale will be brew'd from this time to the 5th 
of April, yet we hope and believe Petersburg cannot be over- 
charged. Our orders for that place exceed six hundred hogsheads." 
That Benjamin Wilson deserved the high estimation m which he 
was held is shown by a letter to one of his correspondents in St 
Petersburg, b which the following passage occurs : << To people 
who have the credit of their own manufacture and the inseparable 
interest of their friends at heart, we cannot but feel an accumulated 
satisfaction at every additional instance of our ale proving fine and 
distinguishing itself, which, in justice to its character, we have ye 
happiness to say our friends have universally confirmed." '* Old 

Brewers. 531 

Wilton " traded m partnership with his brother, who retired in 
1775, and. in due time Benjamin Wilson, jun,, succeeded with 
his father. In the course of years and nature the house became 
Wilson Brothers. Then a marriage between the daughter of 
Wilson, pert^ and James AUsopp of the knightly &mily of 
AUsopp of the Dale, paved the way to the present firm of Allaopp 
&^Company. The Allsopps have always been of aristocratic race. 
The founder of the family was Hugh de AUsopp, who fought with 
Richard I. in the Holy Land, and disdnguished himself at Acre. 
For seventeen generations the Allsopps lived at the Dale, near the 
Peak, and were of the county families, par excdlence^ when Mr Jas. 
Allsopp joined connubially and commercially the house of Wilson, 
and the firm became still more famous as ^ Wilson & Allsopp." 
The last name, however, appears in connection with brewing at a 
date long anterior to the above-named partnership. Pepys, in his 
diary, mentions a Mr Allsopp as the king's brewer, and the 
peculiar confidential position which he enjoyed in the household 
of Charles II. To return to a later date, Mr James AUsopp had 
a son Samuel (nephew of Benjamin WUson, jun.), who was taken 
into partnership by his uncle ; and the late head of the firm. Baron 
Hindlip, who died recently (1887), fuU of years as he was of 
honours, was a son of the aforementioned Samuel Allsopp. This 
is briefly a sketch of the firm for about 1 50 years. Whether 
** old " WUson buUt the first brewery he occupied or not is a 
moot point. . The author we have quoted so freely from gives 
currency to a tradition that ^ The brewery was so old that no 
one ever heard of its having a beginning. The very land it stood 
upon was freehold, and that made it out to be older than the 

I certainly cannot congratulate Buxton and its brewers on the 
possession of a poet, when this is the sort of thing turned out : — 

This ale must come from AIlsopp's vat. 

It is so bright and roeUow ; 
There's none but he can brew Uke that — 

Oh ! he's a famous fellow I 

2 L 2 

532 In Praise of Ale. 

Such ale as this, wherever sought. 
None other could inyent, sirs ! 

'Tis only brewed, 'tis only bought. 
At BurtOQ-upon-Tient, sirs. 

The next couplet is more epigrammatic : — 

Baii^i immortal ak sbaO make ui giy s 
He boUi out loi^getiy* Shites bit clay, 
Sam. Catherall to Kt Friend Heakne, Not. 2, 1729. 

Bass is the complement of Burton as Beaconsfield b of 
Hughenden. The munificence of the house of Bass is almost 
unparalleled eren in this country, where our merchant kings and 
princes seem occasionally to rival each other in their wise munifi- 
cence. I notice that the endowments apd benefactions made by 
this firm towards education, recreation, and religious mstniction, 
amounted, some time ago to over ^^ 12 2,00a Such a sum given 
by one house of business appears almost incredible ; but it is not 
only the princely munificence as the wise administration and dis- 
position of these funds that give a double value to their works and 
labours that proceed of love. I met the late Mr M. T. Bass years 
ago in relation to the efifbrts then being made to ameliorate the con- 
dition of railway servants. I shall never forget the thoroughness 
with which he entered into this work. I think he had a thankless 
task ; but no amount of labour,. passive and active resistance, or 
ingratitude and covert rebellion on the part of many of his proteges 
seemed to discourage him ; whilst his mastery over all the details 
of the undertaking was marvellous. These qualities would have 
placed the late head of the firm m the foremost rank in any calling, 
either in sdence, the professions^ or statesmanship. As it was^ 
though he never took a very prominent position in the House, his 
course of action was always marked by broad liberality; whilst his 
personal character, great wealth, and sound views gave him com- 
manding influence. Le roi at mort vive U rot ! — the king never 
dies — and it is satisfactory to know that the son has taken the 
father's position. These large houses are reticent as to their 
good works — they prefer not to let their right hand know what 

Brewers. 533 

the left b doing — and heoce their modesty preveiitf them from 
making puUic many btemting ^cts and anecdotes. Perhaps 
when the life and works of the late Mr Bass are published — if 
they ever are, and they desenre to be — we shall learn more of the 
rise and progress of Messrs Bass, RatdifFy and Gretton. 

From a modest little brochure, issued by Messrs Wyman & 
Sons, of Great Queen Street, Lmcob's Inn, entitled **A Glass 
of Pale Ale" we learn that the brewery was first started by Mr 
William Bass in the year 1777, when George the Third was 
king, and the boy minister, William Pitt, in power* Previous to 
that period Mr Bass had been engaged in the carrybg business, 
at a time when all, or nearly all, the goods and merchandise inland 
traffic was done by means of the ^common suge waggon." 
This branch of his business was afterwards transferred to the now 
historic and ubiquitous firm of Pickfbrd 0c Co. The late Mr 
Bass was one of the largest holders of railway stock in England. 
The cost of road transit finom Button to London was in fiormer 
days so great as practically to prohibit the consumption of 
** Burton " in the metropolis, and the London brewers of South- 
warke had always been fiunous for the liquor from the time of 
Chaucer downwards, and a great prejudice in its favour pre- 
vailed. These two causes rendered Burton ale less known in 
London than on the Continent, Russia, and the EasL 

Bass ! whose fame is based on beer; 
Bass I whose name is known where'er 
Britons hold their nectar dear — 
Thirst assuaging pleasantly. 

It b with the last-named quarter of the globe that the name of 
Bass is indissolubly associated in connection with pale ak, on 
which Ptmci has apdy bestowed the motto, jf SqmJ Amaru 
An ingenious Assyriologist traces the connection of the firm with 
the East as follows. I don't vouch fer the accuracy, as I have 
not had time to verify the Assyrian tablets that have of late years 
been unearthed. The authority I quote says : — 

** I was much puzzled by the adoption of the pyramid as the 
trade mark of the house of Bass, until one day I alighted 00 a 

534 ^^ Praise of Ale. 

ponderous Tolume from the pen of one learned in the aBases of 
the divinities of Assyria, Egypt, and Greece. That book cleared 
up the mystery, for it informed me that the pyramid builders 
worshipped a great power, who was called by some 'Tammuz,' by 
others < Bassareus,' the son of the goddess Ops. He w^ termed 
Bassareus < the Fortifier :' his symbol was a cross made thus X, 
and he was honoured by the Egyptians with libations of the wine 
of malt. Now that was a long time ago, and the reader will not 
manrel that in its transmission through the centuries the name 
* Tanamuz * has been corrupted into Thomas, ' Bassareus ' into 
Bass, the smgle X into treble X — thus XXX — and 'Ops,' the 
graceful maternal cherisher of the founder of the family, into 

The modest beginnings of Mr William Bass flourished like 
the grain of mustard seed. The first brewery was built on a 
small plot of ground about the size of an ordinary garden. 
The present firm now occupy' business premises extending oyer 
forty-five acres of freehold of the value of ;^2 50,000, and 
over one hundred acres of leasehold property. His << power " in 
the brewery was probably altogether manual, helped in some 
processes, possibly, by a horse. James Watt was not fully 
fledged, nor his engine fully developed then ; he was at that 
time battling with the Cornish mining captains. Now Bass & 
Co.'s brewery has 34 steam engines of 72o-hor8e power in the 
aggregate, and two portable engines of 26-horse power, besides 10 
locomotives and 34 miles of private railway sidings. 

Though the fame of the house is known chiefly from its pale 
ale brewings, it is not so generally known as it should be that the 
firm turn out some lovely stout — soft as milk, rich, rare, and 
creamy, and leaving a pleasant winy taste on the palate. 

Why Bass's stout is not known as well to the public as their 
bitter, is a matter that concerns the firm — though the public are 
losers in consequence, for it only wants to be known to be respected 
and beloved. It is not my business to write a history of the firm 
of Bass, or to give a dry set of statistical figures showing the enor- 
mous amount of malt, hops consumed, and duty paid by these 
kings of the trade, or even to notice the large army of employ^ 

Brewers. 535 

ntgiged in promuting the bunaen or the concern. The Bunon 
people kiMV all theae detaUi hi better than I do. 

The Buweu' Commnv. 

The Brewen' Corapuiy wu iocorporated in the reign of Heaiy 
VI., b the year 1 438, their charter being conGnned by Edwaid 
IV., with the Amber priTilege of nuking bye-lam. The choten 
patroDt of the compaoy were the Bleaed Virgia Mary and St 
Thomat A'Beckett. The following extract* from their hooka 
have been taken from a feur-page pamphlet idued aaonyroouily in 
i860, intituled "A Looking daM for Brewer* ; wherein they 
may aee their Origin and Dignity, together with the Curioui 
CuMomi of their Ancient Craft," It mutt be remembered that 
mo« of the targe compaoie* were in exiitence long before the 
date of tb^r charter. 

Their <mj ancient and curioui record* under date of 1421, 
contain a long and remarkable ttory of the pcrrerKDew of ooe 
William Payne, at the dgn of Tie Svim, by St Antbony'a 
Hoqntal, Threadneedle Street, which oti^nated b hi* refimi to 
contribute ■ barrel of <>&, to be tent to the kbg (Henry V.) 
whiUt he wai m Prance. " For thii affair he wai fined 3*. 4d. 
for a nam for the nustera' breakfut ; and refiiaing to pay, wai 
impriioned: afterwardi contemptuouly reiolving not to wear the 
Company'! lirery," he wu brought before the mayor, and 
eventually confbniied ; but, it ii added, ■* wai very long before be 
could be humbled and brought to good behaviour." Aooiber 
itory, in which a /wm waa alK> tbe fine, occur* Kwn after, u the 
lame book*. It detail* the ill-treatment of Simon Fotkb, of the 
Kiy, at Aldpte, who had paid lod. to a friend to procure a 
certificate of the "oppremTe acti," aa they are Myled, of the 
famoui Sir Richard Whittrngton, then Lord Mayor, aod who 
appears to ban been particularly lerere with tbe mailen of ale t 
this Potkin, on bebg fined by the chamberlain for bad mowre, 
excuied himieif by nybg that "he had given money to tbe 
maiter* [of tbe Breweri* CompaoyJ, that he might aell at bb own 
will." For thii ilander be ii itated to have got into great trouble 

536 In Praise of Ale. 

with his company, and to have been only finally pardoned on pay- 
ing 38. 4d. for a swan^ to be eaten by the masters ; but» out of 
which, it is added, ** he was allowed his own share.** 

In 1 420, their books mention in decided terms the establishment 
in that Company of what may be considered a Court of Assistants, 
though not so named, and specify its duties. The entry which 
records the occurrence states a ^ resolution made by Thomas 
Greene, master, and the three wardens, ^andtaherti that they and 
their successors should meet at ' Brewereshalle,' there to hold their 
conununication, on what necessities of the same craft were to be 
enquired of, sought into, and executed by them, as they should 
see most expedient for its honour and prosperity." Their meetings 
were to be held every Monday, except when changed to other 
days on account of festivals. The Company's afi&irs had evidently 
been conducted previously by general assemblies of the livery 
with the masters ; for the year before (1419) the clerk is said to 
have been elected by the master and wardens, '< with the counsel 
and unanimous consent of the brewers', craft." 

The subjection of the Brewers' Company to the control of the 
Lord Mayor, is acknowledged in a very humble petition, dated 
1435, in which they address the chief magistrate as their 
^ right worshipful and gracious lord and sovereign the Maior of 

The records of the Company, in 1422, contain a curious entry 
of an information against them for selling dear ale ; the complain- 
ant in the case being no less a personage than the renowned Sir 
Richard Whittington. The substance of it, translated from the 
original in Norman French, follows : — 

^ On Thursday, July 30th, 1 422, Robert Chichele, the mayor, 
sent for the masters and twelve of the most worthy of our Com- 
pany to appear at the Guild Hall; to whom John Fray, the 
recorder, objected a breach of government, for which £io should 
be forfeited for selling dear ale. After much dispute about the 
price and quality of malt, wherein < Whityngton,' the late mayor, 
declared 'that the brewers had ridden into the country and 
forestalled the malt, to raise its price,' they were convicted in the 
penalty of;^2o; which, objecting to, the masters were ordered 

Brewers. 537 

to be kept in prison in the chamberlain's company, until they riioald 
pay it, or find security for payment thereof/* 

Whittmgton baring obtained hu conviction, and the Mayor and 
Court of Aldermen ^ gone homeward to their meat," the masiert 
(who, the record proceeds to state, remained m custody) ^asked 
die chamberlain and clerk what they should do ? who bade them 
go home, and promised that no harm should come to them ; 
for all this proceeding had been done but to please Richard 
Whityngton, for he was the cause of all the foresaid judgment." 

In proof of his ^ extraordinary and arbitrary proceedings against 
the Brewers' Company/' the records contain an account of ** the 
ofience taken by Richard Whityngton, mayor," against them for 
their baring had ** fat swans {eignos pmgiui) at their foast on the 
morrow of St Martin." 

The sune year fuhiishes an example of the city's control iq 
what may be termed the impressment of the companiet into the 
public serrice* It states that in — 

^ 1 422, Pariiament haying enacted that all the weirs or 'rydells^' 
in the Thames bet w een Staines and Gravesend, and Queens- 
borough, should be destroyed, the mayor and common council 
ordained that two men finom each of the twenty-six crafts should 
go out with the mayor for this busmess. With the brewers were 
joined six other crafts, viz., the girdlers, Betchers, salters, baibers, 
dyers, and tallow-chandlers, who were all to go in our barge. 
The fletchers excusing themselves as being too busy on account of 
preparing ' artillery ' for the king (who was then in France), were 
permitted to find substitutes, and make payment. 

^ Thomas Grene and Robert Swanoefdd were chosen on this 
occasion to go up to Kingston on the part of the brewers, who 
spent 1 3s. 4d. ; and Robert Carpenter and John Mason to go to 
Gravesend, who spent 20s. ; each having a reward of 6s. Sd. 
They moreover paid to the chamberlain 56s. for three workmen 
for twenty-eight* days, and by order of the mayor levied the 
amount on the craft for this purpoK ; but which (it is added) was 
with difficulty collected." 

The system of bribery is entertainingly illustrated by the 
following entries : — 

538 In Praise of Ale. 

ij^t'l. — ^A note (in Latin )» thai William Walderae (mayor 
in that year) behaved well to the company, until two or three 
weeks before his retirement from ofBce; when, beginning to 
annoy them, they ** assuaged his displeasure " by presenting to 
him <<a boar^ price 206.; and an ox, price 17s." 

Whityngton himself is stated to have received a douceur through 
his servant, in an item of expenditure in the warden's accounts 
afterwards ; which debits the company ^'7, 38. 4d. '^ for ii pipes 
of red wyne to Richard Whityngton's butler." For a succeeding 
mayorality another sum of ;^i 3, 68. 8d. is charged ** for gyfts to 
the lord maior." Other entries record the receiving of presents 
of different kinds, both by the chief magistrate and his officers ; 
or speak of such gifts as customary compIinCients to obtain favour. 
Thus we find in 1423, an entry of ^ money given to divers 
Serjeants of the maior, for to be good friends to our craft," or, as 
it is afterwards worded, ** for their labour to the profit of the 
craft.'' Mention is also made of the ;^ 16 '* given to a tasker of 
the king's, to suffer our carpenters still in our work;" (who 
were artisans employed at this time in the repairs of the 
company's hall, and were liable to be impressed for the kmg's 

1424. — "A record in praise of John Michelle." He was* 
mayor this year ; and, though a receiver of presents like his 
predecessors, is eulogised, because *^ he was a good man, and 
meek and soft to speak with. When he was sworn into office, 
the brewers gave to him an ox, that cost 21s. 2d., and a boatf 
price 308. id.; so that he did no harm to the brewers, and 
advised them to make good ale, that he might not have any com- 
plaint against them." 

The preceding year, 1423, affords an example of a mayor 
who would not take a bribe. The entry is in these words : — 

•* William Crowmere, mayor this year, was a good man, and 
well pleased all the citizens, especially the brewers ; when the 
masters offered gifts to him he thanked them, but would not 
receive any." 

A long notice in Latin describes the character and behaviour 
to the company of Robert Chichely, mayor in 1423, who, it is 

Breviert. 539 

nid, "alwaji mated the brewer* well, aod early exhorted them 
to due dUigeace id their craft, and to premt tnuitgreuon." It 
coacludn with meDtioaiDg a curioiu regulatioD made by him aa 
to the beer trade of the time. ■* That rctailera of ale ibould tell 
the lame in their hotue* in pota of 'ptutre^ «ealed and open t 
and that whomr carried ale to the buyer (hould hold the pot in 
OM hand and * cup in the other ; and thai all who had pota 
unaealed ibonld be fioed." 

The brewert" record* afibrded aereral cnrioua apedmeni of 
ekctioD diorwrt, at fax bock at 1419. the aerenth year of the 
reign of Henry the Fifth. 

The pmence of femalea wai allowed at thete (eaiti. The 
brother! of the Brcweri' Company were to pay 1 id,, the Mten 
8d., and a brother and hia wife, lod.; whilit, among the Fiab- 
mongert, the ntembert were to pay toward* the feaat, on their 
quitting church, "every man, xiid.; and for hit wife, riiid.;" 
and etch " for hi* gett in the tame nunere at the aaKmblie, at the 
wardeynt tbalt reatonabilly ordeynoe." 

An account of repair* done in the reign of Henry VL to 
Brewer*' Hall, which waa a Urge atnicture on the preaent nte, 
mention* « the tenement by the great gate," afterward* coDTeited 
into the company'* almaboiuet. 

The preparation* of the Brewer*' Company to' celebrate the 
•econd arrinl of Henry V. from France, with tome general 
particulan of the procetnou, are given in the following notice 
from the company** book* : — 

" On Thnnday, 13 February, 14211 the King came ftom 
France to London, and W. Cambrigge, the mayor, rode with al! 
the commonalty of the city to meet him ; who were all com- 
manded to be clad alike, in white gown* with red cape*. The 
brewen ordered that all hooaeholden of their company, and all 
the keweri' men of 40*. a year, abould provide clothe* for them- 
lelvea, tuider fine of to*.; but many neglected, and yet were let 
off eanly. William, the (compaoy'*} clerk, had a gown given 
to him by the matter*. The Queen likewite came 00 Friday 
the irat, and wa* received in like manner.'' 

The biewcn' record* give the foUowiog btemtiog account of 

540 In Praise of Ale. 

Henry the Fifth's faneral :— f /^TiSSom Waldeme was chosen 
mayor on St Edmund's day, when it was ordered that the 
aldermen and crafts should go to Westminster with him, to take 
his charge, m barges^ without msfutrels" Erery householder was 
charged to provide a black or russet gown and a black hood ; 
and, after the charge, to be present at the King's funeral* 
Certain of the crafts were ordered to find 2CX> torches for the 
funeral The brewers provided eight torches on this occasion, 
weighing 138 lbs. of wax, price 51s. gdL The chamberlain 
gave white gowns to the torch-bearers, and the brewers paid to 
each 3d. a day for two days. 

^The royal corpse was brought to London on Thursday, 
November 5, and was met at St George's bar, in Southwark, by 
the mayor, sheriffs, and citizens, on foot ; the brewers stood at 
St Margaret's (Southwark) church-jrard, until the funeral pro- 
cession had gone by, preceded by the torch-bearers, and then 
followed to St. Paul's, where a diige was performed. On the 
next day, several masses were sung by many bishops and others, 
who, after eating, preceded the corpse to Westminster, with the 
mayor and civic authorities. The torches were held at the gate 
of the abbey until all had entered ; and, when brought back, 
weighed 112 lbs., and were sold for 28s. Every householder 
from the church of St Magnus to Temple-bar had a servant 
holding a torch at his door while the procession passed. The 
burial was solenmized on Saturday, November 7, when there 
were offered at the high altar, four steeds ro3rally trapped, with a 
knight, full and whole armed with the kmg's coat armour, and a 
crown upon his head, sitting on one of the steeds. After mass, 
200 cloths of gold were offered." 




** Thejplfy wumbers ffa topmg ckb^ 
Like fi^stana^ an hut boofd into a twb^ 
And m a clote coi^eJiraey Unk^ 
For nothing eiu but only to hold drini,** 


Butler was rather hard on the members of the drinking clubs 
which existed in his day, but they were essential to that age and 
subsequent periods also. Newspapers, as we understand them, did 
not exist, and the erening reunion at the club was the only medium 
for exchanging the news and gossip of the day, the latest domgs 
of the Whigs and Tories, the movemenu of the young Pretender, 
the Hanoverian prospects, and what not. It was natural enough, 
in the days when a Whig and Tory could scarcely meet without 
drawing swords, that disciples of the same political creed should 
know where to meet each other, and hence the importance of the 
clubs in which the loyal toasts of the respectife parties could be 
drunk in peace and harmony. 

God bless the King, I mean the faith's defender ; 
God bless — no harm in blessing the pretender ; 
But who the Pretender is, or who the King — 
God bless us all — that's quite another thing. 

And so the King was dnmk oier a bowl of water, and the well- 
understood double entendre was rehearsed over and oyer again. 
They were hard drinkers and hard hitters, though I question 
whether eren they were so bad as they are painted. Our ancestors 
drank well when they were about it, but they were about in the 

542 In Praise of Ale. 

open air all the day, and they fed well, they were not everlastingly 
taking glasses of sherry, nips of brandy, pick-ups, S. and B.'s, and 
other pretences of cheating the . devil by a pretence of sobriety, 
which means a chronic state of half-drunkennesss. They went in 
for a good square meal, and washed it down with plenty of good 
honest liquor, and they woke up without a headache. At all events 
they took the brandy or whisky honestly, and did not go through 
the farce of making it a temperance tipple by the addition of soda. 
** The Loyal Garland, a collection of songs highly in request, and 
much esteemed in the past and present times" (1686) gives a 
good description of a club of the period : — 

The Good Fellows. 

When our brains well liquor'd are. 

Then we charm asleep our care ; 

Then we account Machevil a fool with his plots. 

And cry there's no depth but the bottom o' th' pots. 

Then Hector compar'd with us will be, 

But a coward, and Croesus beggarly : 

Then with song our voices we raise, 

And circle our temple with bays. 

Then honour we count but a blast of wind, 

And trample all things in our mind : 

The valiant in arms. 

That are led by fond alarms. 

Get their honour with harms ; 

Whilst he that takes up 

A plentiful cup 

To no danger is brought, 

But of paying his groat 

Then quickly, come lads, and fill our cups full. 

For since down we must all be laid ; 

'Tis held a good rule 

In Bacchus's school, 

'Tis better to lye drunk than dead. 

Drinking Clubt and Cuttomt. 543 

Tbei« wat no mock mcxletty about them. The old mug-boiuet 
again were favourite reioiu. The deKTiption of ooe which 
exitted b the rrign of George I. hat be«o peooed by a cootein- 
porary, a (breigner : — 

"At the Mng>hoiue Oub in-Long Acre, where on Wedoe*- 
dayi a mixture of gentlemen, lawyen, and trade«Dea meet id a 
great room, a grave old gentleman in hi* grey hain, and neariy 
ninety yean of age, la their pmideiit, and tit* in an aimed chair 
tome itept higher than the mt. A harp pbyt all the while at 
the lower end of the room ; and now and then tome oDe of the 
company rite* and entertaiu the reit with a tong (and, by-the-bye, 
tome are good maitm}. Here it nothing drunk but ale, and 
every geDtlemao cbalki on the table at it it brought in." 

Tbe''Facen"f(»inedaiMtheroddbaDdof brothera. Accord- 
ing to Ramtay they were " A club of fair drinken who inclined 
rather to ipend a ihiUing on ale than twofcact for meat They 
bad ibeir name from a rule they obcerved of obliging themtdvei 
to throw all they left in the cup in their own facet, tberefbre to 
(ave their facet and clotbet, they prudently tuck'd tlie liquor out." 
The " Wolre* " wat the lume of another convivial club which 
met at the " Coal-hole," now trantforroed into Terry't Theatre, 
in the Strand, under the leaderthip of Edmund Kean. So di»- 
ordeHy and uproariout, however, did the " WqItm " become, 
that it wat contiden^ a Duitance even to the Coal-bok, and wat 
accordingly broken up. 

Tbete line* aptly apply lo the uproariout Wolve*: — 
** He that it drunk, or bullied, payt the Treat. 
Their talk it Iook i and o'er the bouncing Ale 
At CooitaUet and Jutticet they rail." 
Perhapa a better idea of the tayingi and dotngi of tbete jovial 
criinton-noted clubbitet may be formed from the old "patter" 

Tk* Cotnmy Cma. 
Now we are all met here together, 
In aptte of wind or weather, 
To moiiten well our cby ; 

544 f^ Praise of Ale. 

Before we think of joggiog. 
Let's take a cheerful noggin, 

Where's the waiter ? ring away ; 
Where's the glees and the catches, 
The tobacco, pipe^ and matches. 

And plenty of brown stoat \ 
Fill the ghsses, e'er we stait 'em. 
Let's proceed teeundum artem^ 

Let the clerk all the names read out. 

Sfokm : Gentlemen of the Quizzical Society, please to answer 
to your names. Farmer Scroggins ! Why ! I be here ; Doctor 
Horseleech ! here ; Parson Paunch ! here ; Taylor Tit ! here : 
and so he goes on for about twenty, till at last you hear, are you 
all assembled ? AH, aU, aU, all 

So here's to you, Mister Wiggins, 
Here's to you. Master Figgins, 
So put the beer about. 

Come tell us what the news is. 
Who wins and who loses, 

Of the times what do people say f 
Hard, hard, the landlord racks us. 
Then we hare such a load of taxes. 

Indeed ! well, and how goes hay ? 
Why, now, there's Master Wiseman, 
He told the exciseman 

'The cause of this pother and rout. 
Order, order, and sobriety. 
The rules of the society. 

Let the scratchetary read 'em out. 

Sfoken: Every member of this society that spills his liquor in 
his . neighbour's pockets, shall forfeit twopence. Every member 
that fingers his neighbour's wig with his pipe, shall forfeit^two- 
pence. Every member of this society who refuses to laugh at a 
good joke, shall forfeit twopence. Every member of this society 

Drinking Clubi and Ciuiom. 545 

wbo Kproochet hi* iwighbour with coming to £ttnu by nn- 
■ToUUbte mitfwtuiK, ilull forfnt twopence. Mr Prendeot, I 
moTC that thi« forfeit be a (hilling. And I KCOnd the motion. 
Are you all agreed^ I am, univareally. A ooble rewlotioD! 
D'ye think w? 

Why then, here's to you, Mr Higgiot, 

HeiVt to you, Mr Wiggini, 
So put the beer about. 

And DOW the potent liquor, 
Not ereo qMtct the ricar. 

But in all their noddlet mouotL 
While among thii Kt of queerera. 
All talken and no hearcn, 

Each hia favourite tale recounti. 
The Midier talk* of battle. 
The gnzier kUi hii cattle, 
Convemuon to provoke. 
Till the juice of the barrel 
Begeta tome curioui quarrel, 

While the company it loit in imoke. 
Sfoien : Upon my foul, neighbour, I had no hand in the death 
of your wife ; it waa all in the way of bunnew. Nay, but, 
doctor, 'twere a cuned unnnghbourly thing of you. Not that 
the woman wet« any atch great ttiingt, but to put a body to atcb 
an eipence. Why, you don't *ay to ! Killed fifteen by your 
own hand I fifteen by my laurcli I D'ye bear ttiat, butcher i 
Hear it, yet ; but I'll by un what he daret he bat not kill'd to 
many at I hi«e by hundredi. Powder my whiiken. Come, 
come, gentlemen, tayi the bellowimaker, no btveiet I Let nw 
exhort you to temperance, layi tlie parton. Anten, tayt the 
clerk. That'* right, md the undertaker t let ut bury ammodty I 
Now that'i what I like, laid the fiddler. I bke to tee harmony 
mtoml. D'ye, though ? Why then, 
Here'* to you, Mr Higpnt, 
Heic't to you, Mr Wiggint, 
So put the beer about. 

546 In Praise of Ale. 

There waa not much formality about tbeae clubs; in fact, 
every tavern parlour was, ipso facto^ a club in itself. All the 
habitues knew each other's af&irs intimately, and met nightly to 
discuss the same matters, when " news much older than the ale 
went round." They always welcomed a new arrival who made 
himself agreeable, and found means to '* sit upon " any one that 
was otherwise. One can but regret the decline and decay of the 
good old tavern with its comfortable parlour and tap-room, and 
still more so the rise of the modem gin-palace, with its glare, 
glitter, rapid drinking, and general flaahiness all round. I am 
confident that much of the drunkenness that prevails is due to the 
rapid style of drinking which prevails in these establishments. 
With a few notable exceptions, the old-fashioned hostel, with its 
solid comforts, civility, and genial company is a thing of the past. 
A capital description of these places of resort in Birmingham was 
written in 1782 and 1783 fay J. Morfitt; but the description 
applies so generally to most town and provincial taverns that it 
will well bear reproducing. 

^* The law of congregation, as the naturalists call it, operates 
here very powerfully in all seasons, bringing the good folks of the 
town regularly together in the evening, and for an hour or two 
after dinner, into the certain public houses, nick-named tmoike^ 
tbops^ where they discuss the topic of the day over a cup of good 
ale. I wish to lay a stress upon the epithet good^ for, were it 
otherwise, in vain might the landlord bow, and the landlady 
apologize: no atonement could possibly be made; the most 
elegant parlour would be deserted for the meanest tap-room. It 
is by no means uncommon, after the usual salutationr and greet- 
ings, to ask one another, as a most important question, * Where 
is the best tap V Some of these imoke^shopt are spacious, and 
not inelegant rooms, provided with ventilators, maps, gazetteers, 
and every other accommodation for smoking a pipe, reading a 
newspaper, and drinking a glass of genuine ale — ale, not supplied 
by public brewers, but manufactured by the landlords themselves, 
with the most anxious attention, as on the quality of this beloved 
beverage depends their fortune and their fame. 

*^ The company, though enveloped in smoke, bears no resem- 

Drinking Clubs and Customs. 547 

blance to the lumpiafa, boorish beings, that are huddled together 
in a Dutch Treckschnyte. So far from the conversation being 
confined to the insipid subject of trade, it is varied and jocose, 
replete with anecdote, and often enlivened by a toast and a song. 
The landlord mingles with his customers, acting as a kind of 
arbiter degmtiarmn^ and contributing all that is in hu power to 
their accoounodation and festivity. The roost illustrious of these 
assemblies are Tomlinson's, in Friday-street; Poet Freeth's,* 
in Bell-Street; and Lynden's, in Peck-lane. All these have 
their several attractions, and the first and last are enthusiastically 
attached to the King and constitution of this country. Though 
their loyalty may begin, it does not end m fume. Here let any 
one, at his peril, sit or stand with his head covered when the 
sacred song of God tave the King is sung. Here, during the 
late war, was promulgated, in large and golden characters^ a 
salutary admonition to the sons of sedition to fly the hallowed 
gjroimd^ froculf frocul Cite frofani / I beg pardon; the inscrip- 
tions were in plain English as follows, no Jacohuu admiHnL It 
is well worth the while of any stranger, and of a Gleaner m par- 
ticular, to visit these temples of festivity ; if he can bear the 
cloud of fumigation, and stand the fire of a phalanx of pipes, he 
will learn more of the customs, manners, and habits, of this class 
of the inhabitants in a single evening than I could describe in a 
whole volume. 

^ John Freeth, the Birmingham bard, who < writes songs, finds 
tunes, and sings them, too,' is venerable for his years, respectable 
for his probity, and distinguished by home-spun wit and good- 
humoured satire. He is one of the best political ballad writers 
and election poets in the kingdom. 

** So much for the genius of our meetings of this class, as far 
as respects eating and drinking. Ale, you will perceive, is its 
nectar ; and iu ambrosia boiled legs of mutton, tripe, cow-heel, 
and gnaij pudding. Here another explanation is necessary. 
Greaty^ or rather groaiy pudding (for I know not its ortho- 
graphy) is made of shins of beef, and groats (that is, dried oats 

* Freeth*! toog of ** fitnninghun Beer *' will be IbuDd on another page. 

2 M 2 

548 In Praise of Ale. 

stripped of their hotke), and, after being well seasoned with salt 
and pepper, is baked in ovens. Not many years ago it had the 
honour, like tripe, of being publicly proclaimed by the town 
crier, and is still in high estimation, as a winter dish. Hot grey 
pease were likewise formerly cried about the streets in an evening, 
but they seem at present to have lost their vogue. Let not these 
things be considered as degradmg the dignity of communication : 
it may be matter of useful curiosity to know what is the &vourite 
diet of these hardy and ingenious 'artificers in brass and iron.'" 

^ Much as I heard/' says another writer of the same period, 
^of the drinking and smoking houses once so famous for 
good ale, and justly called smoke shops, for in a room twenty 
feet long, twelve or fourteen wide, and eight high, you may find 
in an evening thirty or forty men, every one with a pipe in his 
mouth and a glass of ale before him. In the windows are many 
little inlets made of tin, and need enough there is for them. 
Report says that if any of the company are wanted, the waiter, 
who is not permitted to call them out by name, takes a pair of 
beUows to disperse the smoke from the face of the drinkers till 
he finds the man he wants." 

The author, who was concerned at so much smoking, was 
afterwards consoled by learning that these clubbites were not only 
bi^fy and hearty^ but also kya/ souls. 

** At a little later period, however, after the French Revolu- 
tion, the writer deplores a sad falling off, and could not fail to 
observe upon the wicked industry with which Rceniiout principles 
have been propagated. The manufactories, my friend, have their 
politicians and republicans as well as the barber's shop and the ale 
house, yea, and their revolutionists, Robespieres, and atheists are 
as numerous and as fierce, and it is as conmion to hear the down- 
fall of states, the high and low church party, the indivisibility of 
the great nation, the imperfection of thrones and dominions, and 
the perfisctability of human nature, the Bill of Rights, and the Bill 
of Wrongs discussed and determined in casting a button, or point- 
ing a pin as at the Devil Tavern, or the Robin Hood Society ! 
Aye, and believe me, with as much sagacity as in more popular 
assemblies, and with quite as much rage and patriotic violence." 

Drinking Clubs and Customs. 549 

In fiict, heated politict are not peculiar to any ag^ or time. 
Samuel Johnion obaenred something of a nmilar kind, which 
will bear repetition at the present moment — 

^ Here fifing houses thunder on your head. 
And there, a female atheist talks you dead." 

It was inTariably the custom among our fbrefiithers to drink to 
toasts and sentiments. Dean Ramsay, in his reminiscences^ con- 
gratulates the present age in having abolished this custom. On the 
other hand, there is much to be said in iu fiiTour, especially in 
harmonic gatherings, when a sentiment neatly capped a song. As 
Thomas Rhymer in his book says, ** When a person has song» 
and another ungifted with vocal powers is called upon, he may 
contribute his mite to the conrivial monsent, and thus at once save 
useless pressing to perform a task for which, perhaps, nature and 
want of taste had rendered him toully unfit." Besides which, 
a toast or a health would often be the means of breaking the ice 
between two congenial souls. The toasts were always loyal in 
sentiment, embodying the feast of reason and the flow of soul m 
terse epigrammatic language, and many were applicable to special 
songs. The abuse of the custom which Dean Ramsay deplored 
is no argument against its use. As the observance once universal 
is now obsolete, it may be of interest to give a selection of toasts 
uken chiefly from Rhymer, especially as the custom originated in 
beer drinking observances. The verb to ** toast " in its relation 
originated in the practice of putting a piece of toasted bread into 
a jug of ale. The good old congenial custom originated finom an 
objectionable habit which the Danes had of stabbbg or cutting the 
throats of the English whilst they were drinking their spiced ale. 
In order to guard against such a contingency, it became the 
practice for the individual to request some friends sittbg near him 
to become his surety or pledge while he drank. Thus, from this 
nettle danger our ancestors plucked the flower safety, and the 
system became one of their cherished institutions. The word 
bumper, which is always associated with a toast, arose from the 
custonss which good Catholics observed of drinking the health of 
the Pope, an 6m P/re^ at the conclusioo of a feasL Neariy all 

550 In Praise of Ale. 

toasts breathe a spirit of loyalty and much sound wisdom» whilst 
the bulk of them would not be out of place in a teetotal gathering, 
either for sobriety or sentiment The first was invariably 


Then followed Edward Fitzball's graceful words wedded to 
Rodwell's appropriate munc: — 

* Then thb Toast be Dear Woman. 

Bright, bright, are the beams of the morning sky, 

And sweet dew the red blossoms sip, 

But brighter the glances of dear woman's eye, 

And sweeter the dew on her lip. 

Her mouth is the fountain of rapture, 

The source ^m whence purity flows ; 

Ah ! who would not taste of its magic. 

As the honey-bee drinks from the rose. 

Ah ! who would not taste of its magic. 

As the honey-bee drinks fiiom the rose. 

Then the toast, then the toast, be dear woman. 
Let each breast that is manly approve ; 
Then the toast, then the toast, be dear woman, 
And three cheers for the girls we love. 
Hip, hip, hip, hip, Hurrah ! 
Hip, hip, hip, hip, Hurrah ! 

And three cheers for the girb we love. 

*^ The Queen, may she reign long and live happily. 

"The Prince of Wales." 

** May the snraggler's heart be free from a [nrate's spirit 

** May the laws soon cease, that tempt honest men to become 

** The country whose laws are made for revenue, not for pro- 

** May hearts be jobed whenever hands are united. 

• Music at B. WUliamt. 

Drinking Clubs and Customs. 55 1 

** May muaic inspire joy, and unity allow 00 discord. 

** When Apollo inspires our lips, may he also drive care from 
our hearts." 

^ May truth animate Paddy's heart, when blarney stimulates 
his tongue. 

^ A full tumbler to every good fellow — a good tumble to every 
bad one. 

** The rose, thistle, and shamrock, may they never be dis- 

** May the poaching friar be whipped with his own cord. 

** May reli^n ever be divested of sensuality. 

** May hypocrisy be stripped whenever it puts on the cloak of 

** Early hours and hearty health." 

<" Olden tiroes. 

** Old haUs.— Old farms, and old pastimes." 

** May the game-laws be reformed or repealed. 

** May naoonlight sporting cease, by employment being given to 
the labourer. 

^The abolishment of game-keeping, rather than increase of 


^ Liberty without lawlessness." 

** Old English sports, may they never be done away with. 

** Old English customs, may modem refinement never introduce 
habits less healthful." 

** Oaken ships and British hands to man them. 

** May hearts of oak man our navy, and plants of oak support it 

** May the British tar never lose the oak's firmness, or debase 
hb country's character." 

M May our love be ever young^-our charity ever vigorous. 

** The heart which is open to all worth, and shut to all vice." 

** May we never anfuri our banner but for defence, and never 
fiirl it in dishonour. 

''May just wars be accompanied by good fortune, and 
aggressive valour be discomfited." 

^ May a quarrelsome toper be compelled to be a teetotaller." 

** May the beam in the gUss never destroy the ray in the mind. 

55^ In Praise of Ale. 

" When wc are tempted to lave the clay, may we ncrer deprive 
it of consisteDcy." 

<* A jolly Dose, when it is the dgn of a good fellow, bat not of 
a sot 

" May wc never colour the nose by emptying the pocket 

" May the bloom of the face never extend to the nose." 

^ May our glass be broken, rather than we should allow 
merriment to be succeeded by madness." 

" May the toils of the day be forgotten in the welcome of night." 

^ May riotous monks have a double Lent 

** Merry monks, but not mad ones. 

<< May monastic rule be firm without severity, and mild without 

^ Merry hearts to village maidens. 

*^ Harmless joys, with spirits to enjoy them. 

** May the merry-day actions never be succeeded by the next 
day's regret" 

<< Our country, our Constitution, and our Queen.** 

^ Let the lass be good, if even the glass is fill'd badly. 

** May a toast to the fair never prove an apology for the conduct 
of a Satyil** 

** May the gentleman tbai t/, be as true-hearted as the gentle- 
man thai was. 

**0\A English faces, old English hearts, and old English 

*< May modem landlords by their conduct deserve the tears 
that watered the biers of their progenitors." 

«« ENGLAND, the Ocean Qubeh. 

^ May the Ocean Queen never oppress old ocean Sisters. 

** May Britam ever retam the character of ' the home of the 

** May we never put an enemy into our mouths that can steal 
away our brains." 

^ May the cold of Christmas be forgotten in the comfort of its 

^ May all hearts be merry at Christmas, even when all hands 
are cold. 

Drinking Clubs and Customs. 553 

** May the frosu which bind old Christinas open all hearts to 
the poor." 

** Sir John Barleycorn, may he soon be relieved firom his 

^ The times when each village home was never without good 

** Sir John Barleycorn, may the time soon come when each 
peasant may have him for a lodger." 

^ Merrie England, may her peasant sons resome their ancient 

^ Old sports, and village pastimes as they were. 

^ Merrie Christmas, may we always have good cheer to 
welcome it." 

** The peasantry of England, may they resume their ancient 

** May God ipeed the plough, and reward the men who 
drive it 

^May they who raise the wheat be well rewarded with 

** The q>orts of former, and the science of present days. 

** The golden days of Queen Bess, but may their de^tiim 
never be revived. 

** Our Fatherland, its Queen and Constitution." 

** The merry days of England, may her merriest be yet to 

^ May the wassail bowl never be the burial-place of our reason. 

** May the pastimes of the present generation never diigrace 
the pleasures of the past." 

<* The golden days of Queen Bess. 

** May the poor never want relief, while the rich have power 
to administer it 

** Country sports, and light-hearted players." 
^ The English Mki^ may their society animate virtue, and 
stimulate to glorious enterprise." 
** Sweethearts and wives. 

^ The wind that blows, the ship that goes, and the Uss that 
loves a sailor. 

554 In Praise of Ale. 

** May distress ensure sympathy, aod misfortune assistance/' 

** May woman be our companion ; may we never make her a 

" The pleasures that will bear reflection. 

** Woman : may she ever remain the guard of man's virtue." 

** May sorrow never induce a resort to wine. 

** Let us never attempt to lighten care by drowning reason. 

^'When sorrows weigh heavy on the heart, may reason be 
strong m the head.'' 

*' May want never drive the gipsy out of the pale or within 
the grasp of the law. 

^ May punishment attend idleness — fortune accompany exer- 

** A stout ship, a clear sea, and a far-off coast in stormy 

^ May the heart of a British sailor be firm as his native oaks, 
his activity equal to his ocean winds. 

^May hope accompany the sailor, and ever prevent the 
appearance of despair." 

^ May we seek acquaintance with the ' riiing tun^ that we 
may be introduced to ' numj days,^ " 

** Health to the fair, and may happiness accompany it 

** When we speak of the fair, in our toasts, may our minds be 
purified by the introduction. 

** May our fair fiiends command respect — even Bacchus should 
approve their rights." 

** May the life of a beast ensure the death of a dog. 

** May we never allow any servants to become our masters. 

<* May we never have a pain that champagne will not cure." 

^ May the sweet sounds of music never be interrupted by the 
discord of performers. 

** May music elevate the mind, not lull its senses. 

** May love always keep company with harmony." 

^ May we live to see the wrongs of Poland redressed. 

** Confusion to the tyrant, liberty to the slave." 

** May the spirit of generosity never be damped by the blight 
of ingratitude." 




Drinking Clubs and Customs. 555 

** May our luos set in peace, e?en if they rise to witness oar 

** May fair clothes alway coTer Bar hearts. 

** May the loTer's pride be succeeded by the husband's truth 
and afiection. 

** May our wedding days be happy — our wedded days know no 

^ May the action of the soldier's brains nerer be limited to the 
circumference of his coat. 

** A good head, a good heart, and a firm hand to ewtrj good 

^ May our fiur never so nearly resemble our geese, as to be 
attracted by a red rag (coai).* 

** England's wooden walls. 

^ Oaken hearts and oak ships.' 

^ Irish fim without its folly.' 

** The honour that God only can give, and which tyrants 
cannot take away." 

^ To the kind hearts in gipsy tents. 

^ To the gipsy who attacks our weaknesses rather than our hen 

** May the gipsy tent never be inhabited by a bandit's heart." 

** Forest sport, but family comforts to return ta 

^ The freedom of the forest, without the cares of the town." 

** The time when the Zingarce shall tear his tents, and society 
receive him as a brother. 

** Gipsy joys without gipsy license. 

** The free movements of the gipsy, but with fetters on his 

** May each lass have a true lover. 

** When women believe, may men never deceive. 

^May trust ever be allied with truth." 

^ May the bell {Uie) never be too long in the clapper. 

** May the belle's license never exceed her liberty. 

** A fair welcome at the end of a long journey." 

** May the joys of drinking never siq)ersede the pleasure of 

5s6 In Praise of Ale, 

** Friend of my 80u], here's a bumper to thee/' 

^ May might erer be associated with mercy. 

** May the flag of England ever be unfurled to support, never 
to suppress, the liberty of nations. 

** The standard of England, may it never be unfurled for the 
Mpport of foreign tyrants." 

** The oak: may our thoughts be as luxuriant as its boughs, 
our hearts as sound as its trunk. 

*' May the remembrance of the past prepare us for the future. 

"The oak: may we, like it, fall, but to arrive at a more 
glorious destiny.'' 

" May hilarity always be united with temperance. 

" May temperance be in our hearts whenever the glass is in our 

** Father Mathew: may his habits be practised when his name 
is forgotten." 

" Our fathers: may their memories be melody in our hearts. 

" May our father's song remind us only of his virtues. 

" May the good old songs render us better able to estimate the 
merits of the new." 

" When Glory calls, may right attend her banner. 

•* May we never profane the name of glory by associating it 
with deeds of rapine. 

*« Military glory; may we live to attend her funeral, and never 
witness her resurrection among the nations." 

" Patriotism without pugnacity. 

« Old England for ever, and God save the Queen." 

** May the standard of England never be raised for oppression, 
nor lowered with dishonour. 

" May the standard of England ever be acknowledged as the 
standard of liberty. 

" May the Queen of baif the worid be Queen of all her people's 

" May the recollection of our childhood be hallowed by the 
experience of maturity. 

" May our wanderings from home never render less desirable 
our return to home. 

Drinking Clubs and Customs . 557 

^'The •treams and flowerB and BeUes of Britab — may they 
nerer be less bright." 

^ The QueeOy may she never forget that trade and commerce 
have given England her power. 

^ Commerce, may her chains speedily be broken. 

^ Tnuie, may it have freedom to range the world." 

^ May Padd/s bulls never be homed with mischief. 

** May the sons of Ireland live in harmony, and banish religions 
discord from their shores." 

** May contemplation upon our last resting place check vain 
hopes and prevent weak de^ndency." 

**May we never make engagements without thought, nor 
attempts without reason." 

^May harmony fill our hearts, and not merely charm our 

** May the pot-house Parson become as rare as a four-horse 
coach soon will be. 

** May we never bend our reason to our inclinations. 

** May the offices of religion find fit Priests, and may we find 
better employment than to laugh at bad ones.'' 

^ May a good joke always inspire a smart rejoinder. 

** May each witty story bear a good moral, and may we have 
brains to find it. 

** May our wit be not merely a jingling of sounds, but a con- 
catenation of sense." 

^ May we show our setue by controlling our semes, 

^The time when drudgery shall be confined to the physical, 
and banished from the mental powers.'' 

** May matrimonial jars never end in a dissolution of partnenhip. 

** fiear and Forbear. 

^ May matrimony teach patience when the lesson has to be 

** Money, may it add to our pleasure by giving us the power to 
please others. 

** Money, may it never be our god ; but in our hands an instru- 
ment of good." 

May the last shilling soon have a successor. 


558 In Praise of Ale. 

^ May he who parts with his last shilling to relieve distress, 
Derer know what it is to want iu" 

^ May sweet sounds nerer promote discord. 

** May ladies be assured, that the cultivation of the mind is 
much more material than that of music.'' 

^ May the ladies never be caught like bees, by mere noise. 

^ To the hero of a thousand fights. 

^The British army, may its discipline ensure the respect of its 

** May St Patrick banish the varmiui from the houses as well 
as the fields. 

** May all leU hands join in expelling those with dishonest 

" * Eringobragh.' " 

** May the laurel rest on his brow, who dies in the attempt to 
fiee a country from a tyrant's grasp." 

^ May kindness never be obliterated from the heart by care- 

^ When parting with the loved is imperative, may our resolu- 
tion be equal to the occasion. 

** The remembrance of those we have loved and lost." 

** May the remembrances of affection never depart." 

**The Queen of Night, may she mitigate our cares; not 
stimulate to madness. 

** Moonlight meetings that will bear the light of day. 

** In the old, may the moon's ray bring to mind the days of 
youth ; to the young, may they read the lesson that all beauty 
must wane." 

** May our slumbers be light as fairy steps, and our conscience 
light as our sleep. 

^ The woes of lovers, may they be evanescent as the moon- 

** May we witness the blushes of the morning, that we may 
hope to participate in its bloom." 

** May recollections of hope animate and not damp exertion. 

''Our Fatherland, may we prize the remembrance of its 

Drinking Clubs and Ctutemt. 559 

" May the tean of aflecUoo, like the dew, onrer ax > tcond 

" Hay raw* before nuiriage aerer be fbrgotteD after it. 

" May the marriage bond haniih erery idea of rinlry io ]o*&" 

" May jcalouay oerer ioTade the domettic hearth." 

"The Bellu of Scotland. 

" The mouDtain tceoct which rear DUgh^ bearta. 

" May the muiic of Scotland aerer ceaie to inipre a Scotch* 
maw 'a heart. ** 

*' May Britanoia erer maintaio her anprRiiacy at tea. 

" May Che qnrit of the Briton animate all landt b which her 
wot are natuialited. 

" May Britotu nerer nibnut to, nw detiie to force on otbera 
the bond of tlaTery." 

" Biay our age ne'er be widowed, but may death be welcome 
widi thote we love. 

" May tboae who live together throagh a long life^ b death be 

" May the warmth of our aflectioos ninrire the frotta of age; 

" Our country, may her aoos nerer disbooour dietr parentage. 

" Highland (poni, may the femter nerer want a itag, Dor the 
angler a nlmon." 

"A roonattic rather than a mermaid't cell. 

" May our bed never be harder than heather, nor toftcr thao 

" Mcnnaidt for the ocean — young maidt for true heaiti." 

"May the time toon arrive when the childm of Judah thaU 
agaio be a collected people. 

" Id our intercourte with Abraham'i aeed, may their |ment 
degradation never make ui forget they wete the choteo people of 

" May the ruini of the Jewiah empire impreti the toni of 
Abraham with a due tenae of their great crime. 

•* May Itrael toon be collected in the land of Judah. 

"May the daughter* of Itnel toon itiike the harp once totue 
under their native vine* and fig tree*." 

"Love'a almanack, may it be a perpetual one." 

560 In Praise of Ale. 

**Thc ^Carse o' Cowrie/ may its beauties eDsure plenty o' 

'< The lass o' Gowrie, may < Mess John ' never be absent when 
she requires his aid. 

^ May contentment secure matrimony, and love induce it." 

** To old Ocean's sister, may the memory of her ancient glory 
never depart. 

*^ Venice, may she be a lesson to the nations, that tyranny is 
destructive of prosperity. 

*^ To the memory of the time when Venice was great, glorious, 
and free." 

'< May the blighted heart find in every one a brother. 

** May the midnight of the mind find all willing to illuminate 
its darkness. 

" MsLy woman never know despair, nor man ever occasion it." 

** The deep sea, may its wonders raise our minds to Him that 
can control it. 

^ The ecstasy that a gale in a good craft and a roaring sea 

^ The majesty of man, while it triumphs over nature, may it 
willingly bow to nature's God." 

^* May selfishness never possess our hearts. 

" May we esteem merit wherever we find it. 

** May we love woman quite independent of our relation to 
her ; and may she ever inspire virtue." 

** May our sailors be constant as the Needle, and true as the 

** Lots of beef, oceans of beer, a pretty girl, and a thousand a 

** May we never want a friend and a glass to give him." 
The list of toasts is rather long, but yet they embody in one 
form or another the sentiments and feelings of the whole of the 
English people, breathe a kindly, manly spirit, and are free 
from the dogmatism and contrariness of those proverbs which 
Sancho Panza, the clown, loved, but his master, Don Quixote, 
the gendeman, hated. 

In 1844, Mr John Dunlop published the seventh edition of 

Drinking Clubs and Custonu. 56 1 

hit elaborate account of the artificial and compulsory drinking 
ooget of the United Kingdom, in furtherance of the temperance 
mofement. The work was a most laborious production, but it 
only profed that drinking prevailed on special occasions, and 
had become incorporated in the customs of almost erery trade 
and calling in the United Kingdom, and that, unfortunately, the 
abuse of what was b itself a good and friendly obserrance became 
at times a source of great eril, and that in some trades it 
prerailed more than in others. 

Beer in one form or another has always been an important 
element in initiations, as our ILA.O.B.'s are well aware, the 
** purity and holmess " of the Gatter being specially looked after 
by the taster. Footings are always paid in beer. I must, how- 
ever, go back to old Taylor the poet for an account of the 
ceremony of ** hancing,'' as performed in his day : — 

^ Being entertained at the city of Hamburgh, he was given the 
choicest place in the English house which he attended. Every 
man did his best to hance him for his welcome — which, by in- 
terpretation, is to give a man a loaf too much out of the brewer's 
basket — in which kind of potshot our English have grown such 
stout proficients that some of them dares bandy and contend 
with the Dutch, their first teachers.'' This sutement is confirmed 
by JagOy * Othello,' act iL, scene 3. ^ But, after they hanced me 
as well as they could, they administered an oath to roe in the 
manner and form as following : — 

''Ths Obugation on BEmo HANCEa — [^Laying my hand on a 
fiJipor\ I swear, by the contents and all that is herein contained, 
that, by the courteous fiivour of these gentlemen, I do find mysdf 
sufficiendy hanced, and that henceforth I shall acknowledge it, 
and that whenever I shall offer to be hanced again I shall arm 
myself with the craft of a fox, the manners of a hog, the wisdom 
of an ass, mixed with the civility of a bear." 

''This was the form of the oath as near as I can re- 

In the notes to Fletcher's play of '' Beggars Bush," 1647, 1 
find the foUowing slighdy slangy form of admitting a member 
into the Honourable Fraternity of Beggars: — 

3 K 

562 In Praise of Ale. 

I crowD thy nab with a gag of ben bouae, 
And stall thee by the aalmon into the dows. 
To mand on the pad and to strike all the cheats ; 
To null from the rufFroans, commissions, and slates, 
Twang dells i' the stiromel, and let the quire-cuifin, 
And Herman becktrine, and trine to the ruffian." 

It is scarcely necessary to translate the above. 

One of the most peculiar beer drinking customs which pre- 
vailed was that which was scrupulously enforced upon travellers 
through Highgate, and known as swearing on the horns. Though 
wine is mentioned in one of the forms of obligation, a gallon 
of beer was usually the initiation fee in the generality of 
houses. Lord Byron, and after him a troop of Harrovians, 
were initiated, as is shown by the following lines from << Childe 

'' Some o'er the Thames row the ribbon'd fair. 
Others along the safer turnpike £y, 
Some Richmond Hill ascend, some scud to Ware, 
Ask ye, Boedan Shades, the reason why ? 
'Tis to the worship of the solemn Horn, 
Grasped in the holy hand of mystery. 
In whose dread name both men and maids are sworn, 
And consecrate the oath with draught, and dance till mom.'* 

When from seventy to eighty coaches passed through the village 
daily, the majority of the passengers were constrained to take the 
oath* The custom must have brought an enormous accession of 
business to the village, and the landlords waxed fat thereon* The 
form of oath varied according to the wit and humour of the 
presiding genius. The high priest and his satellite were dressed 
in mock canonicals, and frequently wore masks. Here is one 
short form of oath given in an old print in the coffee-room of 
the Gate-house, dated 1796 : — "Pray, sir, lay your right hand 
on this book and attend to the oath. You swear by the rules of 
sound judgment that you will not eat brown bread when you 
can get white, except you like brown better ; that you will not 

Drinking Clubs and Customs. 563 

drink tmall beer when ycm can get strong, except you like the tmall 
beer better. But you will kits the maid in preference to the 
miitress, if you like the maid better. So help you Billy Bodkin. 
Turn round and fulfil your oath." The following was the pre- 
lude to which the acolytes were chanted in : — 

'* nrb a custom at Highg^ that all who go through 
Must be sworn on the Horns, sir, and so, sir, must yoo. 
Bring the horns, shut the door, now, sir, take off your hat. 
When you come here again don't forget to mind that** 

There were few men who had the moral courage to resist the 
appeal Usually, however, the obligation was much longer than 
the one just given. Here is a more detailed one : — 

^ Upstanding and uncovered ; silence. Take notice what I 
now say to you, for tbai is the first word of the oath, mind 
thai ! You must acknowledge me to be your adopted father ; 
I roust acknowledge you to be my adopted son. If you 
do not call me father, you forfeit a bottle of wine ; if I do not 
call you son, I forfeit the same. And now, my good son, if you 
are travelling through the village of Highgate, and if you have no 
money m your pocket, go call for a bottle of wine at any house 
you may think proper to enter, and book it to jrour fiither's score. 
If you have any friends with you, you may treat them as well; 
but if you have any money of your own, yon must pay for it 
yourself; for you must not say you have no money when you 
have ; neither must you convey your money out of your pocket 
into that of your friend's pocket, for I shall search them as well 
as you, and if I find that you or they have any money yon forfeit 
a bottle of wine for trying to cheat and cozen your old father. 
You must not eat brown bread when you can get white, unless 
you like brown the best; nor must you drink smaU beer when you 
can get strong, unless you like small the best; you must not luM 
the maid when you can kiss the mistress, unless you like the maid 
best; but sooner than lose a good chance you may kiss them 
both. And now, my good son, I wish you a safi^ journey 
through Highgate and this life. I chaise you, my good son, 

2 N 2 

564 In Praise rf Ale. 

that if yoa know any in this company who have not taken this 
oath yoa most canse them to take it, for if you fail to do so, yoo 
will forfeit one yonnelf. So now, my good son, God bless yoa; 
kiss the horns or a pretty girl if you see one here, which you like 
best, and so be fiee of Highgate." 

Perlu^ howefer, the best form of oath was the fbllowmg 
rhymed fenion, which was administered by the landlord and his 
clefk, osoaBy the ostler, m full official costume: — 

** Silence, oh yes, you are my son! 
Full to your old fitther turn, sir. 
This u an oath you must take as you run. 
So lay your hands i^n the horn, sir. 
The Clark: Amen. 

*^ You shall not q>end with cheaters or cozens your life. 
Nor waste it on profligate beauty; 
And when you are wedded be kind to your wifi^. 
And true to all petticoat duty. 

(/« obeSence to the Clerk the ean£daie says^ ** I *o)Ul^* and 
kuies tie horn at the end of each verse.) 

^ And while you thus solemnly swear to be kbd. 
And shield and protect firom disaster, 
This part of the oath you must bear it in mind, 
That you and 110/ she is the master. 

^ You shall pledge no man first when a woman is near, 
For 'tis neither proper nor right, sir; 
Nor, unless you prefer it, drink small for strong beer, 
Nor eat brown bread when you can get white, sir. 

^ You shall never drink brandy when wine you can get. 
Say, when good port or sherry is handy. 
Unless that your task in strong spirit is set. 
In wtiiKh, case, you may, sir, drink brandy. 

Drinking Clubs and Customs. 565 

** To kiss the fair maid when the mistress is kiod. 
Remember that you must be loath, sir ; 
But if the maid's fiurest, your oath does not bind, 
Or you may, if you like it, kiw both, sir. 

** Should you erer return, take this oath here again, 
Like a man of good sense, lead a true, sir; 
And be sure to bring with you some more menry men, 
That they on the horns may swear too, sir. 

Then followed a piece of good adrice, fiz. : — ** To keep from 
all houses of ill repute and every place of public resort fbr bad 
company ; beware of false friends, fbr they will turn to be your 
foes, and inveigle you into houses where you may lose jonr money 
and get no redress ; keep from thieves of every denomination.'' 

** Now, sir, if you please, sign your name m that book, and if 
you can't write, make your mark, and the Clerk of the Court will 
attest it. You will please pay half a crown fbr court fees^ and 
what you like to the cleriL" This formality having been com- 
plied with, the hmdlord proceeded to acquaint the neophyte with 
the privileges of being free of Highgate: — ^ If at any time you 
are going through the hamlet and want to rest yourself, and yon 
see a pig lying in a ditch, you are quite at liberty to kick her out 
and tike her place; but if you see three lying together, you must 
only- kick out the middle one, and lie between the two. So God 
save the King, Queen, and the Lord of the Manor." To this 
the clerk responds — ** Amen." As m duty bound, the initiation 
fees were duly paid, the wine drank, and the quasi-parsoo and 
clerk looked out for fresh novices. 

There are various conjectures as to the origin of this ceremony. 
Some say that it was intended as a burlesque upon religious cere- 
monies ; others that the drovers who passed through the village, 
wishing to keep to their own society, compelled outsiders either to 
kiss the horns of an ox which were brought to the door for the 
purpose or else to quit their company. The custom was certainly 
a very ancient one, but was not exclusively confined to Highgate. 
At Hoddesden the observance was kept up, and still more so at 

566 In Praise (f Ale. 

Ware, when the people went to 8tare at the great bed of that 
towD, and where the hmdlord performed the ceremony, in which 
an old ballad describes it as " Ye twynkling of ye bedde post" 

Grose, writing in 178$, alludes to the costom as having been 
very ancient in his time, and so also does Hone ; and Bell points 
out that the oath was universally taken by gentle and simple. 
Horns are skill kept and shown at the Gate House, the Angel, 
and other inns. Prickett thinks the custom may have originated 
in some punning allusions to Homsey, but this seems scarcely 
probable. There was no law as to the particular kind of horns 
on which the neophytes were sworn. Ram's, stag's, and bullock's 
were variously used. 

Ned Ward, in one of his peregrinations, describes the ceremony 
as performed at Ware ; and a similar one prevailed at an annual 
fair near Cambridge, in which the presiding high priest was 
known as the Lord of the Spiggott. An attempt was made some 
years ago to revive the custom, but it was a failure. I have been 
told that the last pbce in which the oath was administered was 
the Fox under the Hill at Highgate, when the fees were reduced 
to one shilling. 

Here is an account of a Sussex observance, for which I am 
indebted to Mr Sawyer, F.S.A. This particular forfeit toast is 
a relic of the ancient custom of drinking super rugulum^ or ^ on 
the nail" 

** Here's a health to Tom Brown, 
Let the glass go round. 
Drink up your ale without shrinking. 
Put a print (or pond) on your nail. 
And kiss the glass's tail. 
And fill it up again without ceasing." 

The drinker must leave just sufficient beer in the glass to 
cover his finger nail, but if he leaves too much, or not enough, 
the penalty is to drink another glass. Ben Jonson alludes to this 
custom m his play, « The Case is Altered," thus, «* He plays 
super negulum with my liquor of life." 




** A quart of ale u a duhfor a KmgJ* 

A WHOLE book has been written about royal and noble authors, 
but a much bigger one could be written on royal and noble 
drinkers, from the earliest days to the present; and what an 
interesting volume it would make to record the domestic and 
social doings of the great and gifted in their hours of relaxation 1 
I can only touch upon the subject King records the doings of 
one mighty Prince, and the number of brewers and bakers he 
employed — 

^ There was a Prince of Lubberland, 
A potentate of high command, 
Ten thousand bakers did attend him, 
Ten thousand brewers did befriend him. 
These brought him kissing-crusts, and those. 
Brought him small beer, before he roseJ 


That might have been exaggerated, bat this is real : — 

^ King Hardicnute, 'midst Danes and Saxons stout, 
Carouz'd in nut-brown ale, and din'd on grout. 
Which dish its pristine honour still retains. 
And, when each Prince is crown'd, b honour reigns." 

Doubtless Mr Whyte-MelriUe is correct in his facts, but he 
seenu to have mixed up Ancient and Modem History in the 
next political song. 

568 In Praise of Ale. 

** King Nabachadonosor 

Lived in a golden palace ; 
He fed from a golden dish, and drank 

His swipes from a golden chalice. 
But John Wilkes he was for Middlesex, 

And they chose him for knight of the shire. 
For he made a fool of Alderman Bull 

And he called Parson Tooke a liar ! 

Alexander evidently grew quarrelsome in his cups. 

^ Fludlen, . . . Alexander (God knows, and you know) in 
his rages, and his furies, and his wraths, and his cholers, and his 
moods, and his displeasures, and his indignations, and also being 
a little intoxicated in his prains, did, in his ales and his angers, 
look you, kill his pest friend, Cljrtus." 

The doings of the household of King Arthur are set forth in 
a very old fayourite glee. 

** When Arthur first in court began 
To wear long hanging sleeves. 
He entertained three serving men, 
And all of them were thieves. 

^ The first he was an Irishman, 
The second he was a Scot, 
The third he was a Welshman, 
And all were knaves, I wot. 

** The Irishman he lov'd Usquebaugh, 
The Scot lov'd ale called Bluet-ap^ 
The Welshman he lov'd toasted cheese, 
And he made his mouth like a mouse trap. 

« Usquebaugh burnt the Irishman's throat. 
The Scot was drown'd in ale. 
The Welshman was like to be choked by a mouse, 
But he pull'd it out by the tail." 

Rcyal and Noble Drinkers. 569 

Not Iftt TeracioQSy but more beery, arc the doings at the Court 
of Borobaatety as written by Barnes Rhodes : — 

Kmo Artax Omnous. 

^ Last night, when undisturbed by state affidrs, 
Moistening our day, and puffing off our cares, 
Oft the replenished goblet did we draiut 
And drank and srook'd, and srook'd and drank again ; 
Such was the case, our very actions such, 
Until at length we got a drop too muclu 

Fruhoi. GenVal Bombombestes, whose resistless force 
Alone exceeds by far a brewer's horse. 
Returns victorious, bringing mines of wealth I 

Artax, Does he, by Jingo ! Then we'll drink his health. 

Bomhoi. Meet me this evening at the Barley-Mow ; 
I'll bring your pay, you see I'm busy now: 
Begone, brave army, don't kick up a row. {,Smgt, 

Hope told a flattering tale 
Much longer than my arm, 
That love and pots of ale 
In peace would keep roe warm: 
The flatt'rer is not gone. 
She visits Number One : 
In love Pm monstrous deep- 
Love ! odsbobs, destroys my sleep." 

** Music's the food of love, give o'er, give o'er. 
For I must fittten on that food no more. 
My happiness is changed to doleful dumps. 
Whilst, merry Michael, all thy cards were trumps. 
So should you by fortune's blest decrees 
Possess at least a pound of Cheshire cheese. 
And bent some fiivour'd party to regale. 
Lay in a kilderkin or so of ale ; 
Lol angry ^, in one unlucky hour 
Some hungry rats may all the cheese devour. 
And the loud thunder turn the liquor sour." — Scene 4. 

570 In Praise of Ale. 

Sir Eglamour, when he had banged a dragon, consoled himself 
with a big dfink. 

*^ When all was done, to an alehouse he went, 
And by-and-bye his twopence he spent ; 
For he was so hot with tugging the dragon, 
That nothmg would quench him but a whole flagon." 

Conversely of this, Moore of Moore Hall screwed up his 
courage beforehand: — 

*^ As soon as he rose and donned his clothes, 
To make him strong and mighty ; 
He quafled by the tale, six pots of ale. 
And a quart of aqua vtU,** 

Friar Tuck, aUat the Holy Clerk of Copmanhurst, was not the 
only one that entertained a king unawares. 

The pby of" The King and the Miller ot Mansfield " refers 
to an adventure of King Henry II., as is set forth in the long and 
very robust ballad of the period, reprinted in Ritson's collection, 
of which one verse will be sufficient: — 

" Then to their supper were they set orderly. 
With a hot bag pudding and good apple pie ; 
Nappy ale, stout and stale, in a brown bowl, 
Which did about the boord merrily troul." 

Venison pasty succeeded, and the miller confided, under the 
promise of secrecy, how he levied on the King's deer. 

M Doubt not, then said our King, my promised secrecy, 
The King shall never know more on't from me* 
A cup of lamb's wool they drank unto him then. 
And to their beds they pass'd presently." 

The next day the King sent for and feasted the miller and his 
family, and made him a knight and keeper of the forest. 

" Quoth Sir John Cockle, I'll pledge you a pottle, 
Were it the best ale in Nottinghamshire. 
But then, said the King, I do think of a thing — 
Some of your lightfoot I would we had here." 

Royal and NotU Drinkert. 57' 

Kiog Edward IV. chumnKd id diigoited whb the «»• 
of St Criipio, who thereupon chnMncd tbttr trade tbc " gentle 
craft," on accouDt of baviag been pledged by Royalty. Tbe 
KOfy if referml to id tbe play of « George a Green, the Knner 
of Wakefield" (iS99):— 

" Many, became you have drank with the King, 

And the Kiog hath to gradoualy pledged you. 

You ihall be no more called ihoeauken; 

But you and yoiin, to tbe world't end, 

Shall be called the trade of tbe gentle craft." 

King Jaroet' adrentDre with tbe tinkler it nmewhat parallel 
to that of the King tod tbe Miller of Mantfield. Tbe ballad 
tecordi ihow bow King Jamet I., when hunting in tbe neighbour- 
hood of Norwood, had loit hii way : — 

" A* he wat a-hunting the (wift litIlow>deer, 
He dropt all hii noble* i and vben be got clear, 
In hope of aome paadme away did he ride. 
Till be came to an alehouae hard by a woodaide. 

" And there with a tinkler be happened to meet, 
And bin in kind lort m) freely did greet : 
Pray thee, good fellow, what haat in thy jug, 
Which under thy arm thou do«t lovingly hug i 

" By the maai I <]uotb the tinkler, it'i nappy brown ale, 
And for to drink to thee, friend, I wiU not &U ; 
For although thy jacket looki gallant and fine, 
I think that my twopence it at good at thine. 

x By my kiuI I honot fellow, the truth tbon haat ^ke, 
And ttraigbt be tat down with tbe tinkler to joke ; 
Tbey drank to tbe King, and they ^edged to each other. 
Who'd teett 'em had thought tbey were brother and brother." 

In the end Jamet promitea to gratify the tjnkler with a nght ot 
the King, and utok him on the crupper to where the ^ 

572 In Praise of Ale. 

were met, when the tinkler discovered that his jolly compamon 
waa the King himself. 

** Like on that was frightened quite out of his wits, 
Then on his knees he instantly gets, 
Beseeching for mercy ; the King to him said, 
Thon art a good fellow, so be not afraid! 

** Come, tell thy name ? I am John of the Dale, 
A mender of kettles — a lover of ale. 
Rise up. Sir John, I will honour thee here, — 
I make thee a knight of three thousand a year ! 

From these accounts we may infer that even royalty likes at 
times to divest itself of the robes of office and cares of state and 
** have a fling." 

^ A prince, who in a forest rides astray, 
And, weary, to some cottage finds the way, 
Talks of no pjrramids of fowl, or bbks of fish. 
But, hungry, sups his cream serv'd in an earthen dish : 
Quenches his thirst with ale in nut-brown bowls. 
And takes the hasty rasher from the coals." 

Dryden again repeats the same sentiment in the prologue ^ All 
for Love " — 

'< But, as the rich, when tir'd with daily feasts. 
For change, become their next poor tenant's guests, 
Drml hearty draughu of ale from plain brown^bowlt^ 
And tnatcb the homely rather fnm the coals** 

In the Percy ballads we learn how King John came to his end 
by means of poisoned ale. 

** A flat-faced monke comes with a glosing tale 
To give the king a cup of spiced ale : 
A deadlier draught was never offered man. 
Yet this false monke unto the king began." 

Royal and Noble Drinkers. 573 

Hotspur is supposed by Grey to hate had this story m mind 
when he wished his rivaly Prince Henry, a similar ending — 

*^ I'd have him poisoned with a pot of ale." 

The account of the poisoning of King John is in Caxton's 
** Fnictus Temponm^** ^ 5 > 5* 

Puss AND Mew. — In 1 7389 when penalties were laid on the 
dealers of spirituous liquors, ^Puss and Mew," an bgenious 
mode of avoiding informationSy was adopted. The customer, on 
entering the house, or the entrance to it, cried ^Puss," to 
which a voice from within replied <*Mew ;" a drawer was then 
thrust forward, into which the customer put his money; the 
drawer being pulled in, was soon after thrust out again, with the 
quantity of spirits required. 

CuTTmo rr Fms. — Justices Smith and Wills held that a 
licensed victualler, who, having drawn a pint of beer in a standard 
measure, put it bto a jug before delivering it to the customer, had 
conunitted a breach of the eighth section of the Licensing Act. 
The section provides that beer not sold in cask or bottle must be 
sold in imperial standards. 

Deductions — ^Two Ways op Loouno at rr. — Sir Wilfrid 
Lawson is reported to be busy on a statistical work showing that 
the ^38,000,000 per annum we Britishers pay to the Exchequer 
in the shape of drink duty, licenses, and so on, is a tax which is a 
disgrace to us, and must cripple us b time as a nation. Consider- 
bg that we have been regarded as a beer-swillbg people since the 
time of Egbert, and that the Anglo-Saxon race covers a seventh 
part of terra firma^ Sir Wilfrid's sermooisbg will fall on the usual 
stony ground. 

Beer and Braws. — ^The question why printers did not succeed 
as well as brewers was thus answered : ^ Because printers work 
for the head and brewers for the stomach, and where twenty men 
have stomachs but one has brains." 




Porief^i praise demands my song. 
Porter Uaci and Porter strong, 

"Prais'd and canw'd, the tuncfiil Philip tang 

f cyder ^ni'd, whence first his laurel sprung; 
R ise then, my muse» and to the world proclaim 
T he mighty charms of Porter's potent name : 

E ach back from thee shall sweetest pleasure taste, 
R cvel secure, nor think to part in haste." — ^T. T. 

So much has been written, so much in praise of the amber ale, 
brown ale, bitter, and beer, that hitherto the very important element 
of black beers has been left out ^ A pot of porter, ho ! " from 
" The Myrtle and the Vine," 1 800, will not be out of place. 

When to old England I come home, 

Fallal,fa!, lal,Ia! 
What joy to see the tankard foam, 

Fal lal, fal, lal, la ! 
When treading London's well-known ground 
If e'er I feel my spirits tire, 

1 haul my sail, look up around 

In search of Whitebread's best entire. 
I spy the name of Calvert, 
Of Curtis, Cox &Co.; 
I give a cheer and bawl for 't, 
«« A pot of porter, ho ! " 

When to old England I come home, 
What joy to see the tankard foam i 
With heart so light, and frolic high, 
I drink it off to liberty ! 

Black Beer. 575 

Where wioe and water can be found, 

Fal lal, ^ lal, la ! 
I've traveird far the world around, 

Fal lal, fid, H la ! 
Again I hope, before I die, 
Of England's can the taste to try ; 
For many a league I'd go about 
To take a draught of Giffbrd's stout. 
I spy the name of Truman, 

Of Maddox, Meux & Co.; 
The sight makes me a new man, 
** A pot of porter, ho ! " 

When to old England, &c. 

I cannot giTe the date of the foregoing, but it was probably about 
the beginning of the century, and is interesting as givmg a list of 
the brewers who were then famous for their porter. The 
following figures, compiled from official sources, are interesting as 
showing the quantity of porter brewed in London by the twelfe 
principal houses from the 5th July, 181 1, to 5th July, 18 12, 
not only as showing the quantity brewed, but the names of the 
houses then in existence: — Barclay, Perkins & Co., 270,259 
barrels ; Meux, Reid & Co., 188,078 bris.; Truman, Hanbury 
&Co., 1 50,164 brls.; Whitbread & Co., 122,446 brls.; Calvert, 
Felix & Co., 108,212 brls.; Meux, Henry & Co., 102,493 
brls.; Combe, Delafield & Co., 100,824 brls.; Goodwyn & Co., 
81,022 brls.; Elliott & Co., 58,035 brls.; Cocks & Campbell 
(late Brown & Parry), 5 1,274 brls.; Taylor & Co., 5 1,220 brls.; 
Clowes & Co., 34,010 brls.: total, 1,318,037. The number of 
barrels of ale brewed in the London district during the same 
period, by the eight principal ale brewers, was 105,563 barrels. 

In the year 1 709, when Thompson visited Sweden, he re- 
corded that the foreign brewers were successfully imitating the 
manufacture of London porter, and states very properly that — 

''Where the lower orders use beer as a common drink, 
breweries ought to abound. In that year there were 1 59 regis- 
tered esublishments of that kind in Sweden. Some years 

576 In Praise of Ale. 

previous to that period they were enabled to export 232 barrels 
fiom Stockhohn ; and in Gottenburg a Mr Lorent was erecting a 
brewery for porter to enable him to imitate that of London, 
which sold at the inns for 28. 6d. the botde." 

The porter ought to have been good at that price, though as a 
rule the foreign and Continental rates levied for British beer were 
somewhat ^bulous. 

From the same author we learn that ^ In Quebec, 1824, where 
there are three breweries, the best brandy (real Cognac) of the first 
strength, is sold at 4s. 6d. per gallon, port wine at is. 6d.» and 
porter at 8s. per dozen. In Montreal, Leeward Island rum is 
not more than 4d. the three half-pints, while beer at 6d. per 
quart) although there are several breweries in the place." 

Incidentally, foreign brewers were well looked after in the 
interests of the public : — 

^So early as 1268, the manufacture of beer was of such 
importance, that laws were drawn up and approved by the mayor 
of Paris to regulate the trade. The brewers at that time were 
called cervohifrif from cervoise, the name given to beer. In 1 489, 
the laws were revised, on account of the abuses that were 
practised in the breweries, and again, in 1 630^ ten new regulations 
were added to the code, and registered in Parliament in 1 7 1 4. 
In 1801, there were seventy-eight master brewers in Paris, but it 
is proper to observe, that no one can open or carry on a brewhouse 
in that capital without having regularly served five years of an 
apprenticeship, and three years as a foreman. The law wisely 
enforces that some of the members of their corporation shall 
examine the ingredients used in brewing, lest any noxious or 
deleterious substance be employed, and it likewise enjoins, that 
barm shall not be sold in any place without a previous inspection. 
No oxen or other animals are allowed to be fed or kept within 
the range of the brewery concerns, in order to prevent filth and 
annoyance. Formerly, each brewer could have only one pan, or 
mash kieve, per day, containing fifteen septiers of malt. Three 
members of the corporation, annually elected, are obliged to inspect 
the breweries, all of which they may vim whenever they please." 
The origin of the term ''porter" is pretty generally known. 

Black Beer, 577 

Before 1 730 the malt liquors in use were ale, beer, and twopenny; 
and it was usual to call for a pint or tankard of half-and-half, Le.f 
half of ale and half of beer. In course of time it also became the 
practice to ask for a pint of ** three-thirds," or ** three-threads," 
meaning a third each of ale, beer, and twopenny. Having to go 
to three casks for one pint of ale occasioned considerable incon- 
venience and loss of time, so, to meet this difficulty, a biewer 
named Harwood made a liquor which partook of the united 
flavours of all three. This he called << entire," or ^entire-butt 
beer," meaning that it was drawn from one cask or butL It was 
in the year 1720 that Harwood, whose brewhouse was on the 
east side of High Street, Shoreditch, conceived the idea of 
making ^ entire." It is said to have been called *< porter," either 
from its having been the common drink of the porters or from 
Harwood sending it round to his customers by men who, when 
they knocked at the doors, called out ^ porter " — meaning thereby 
not the drink, but themselves, its porters or carriers. According 
to Leigh, it was first retailed at the << Blue Last," Curtain Road. 
This good old hostel still flourishes bravely, and has a gigantic sign- 
board announcing the fact that it is the old original Porter-house. 
Gutteridge, a native of Shoreditch, thus praises the beverage, and 
immortalises the inventor thereof: — 

*< Harwood, my townsman, he invented first 
Porter to rival wine and quench the thirst ; 
Porter, which spreads its fame half the world o'er. 
Whose reputation rises more and more. 
As long as porter shall preserve its £mie, 
Let all with gradtude our parish name." 

As is shown by the above returns of the respective ouq>ut of 
the London brewers, they were not long in following, up, and 
perchance improving upon, Harwood's recipe for black beer. 
Meux became famous thereby, and so did Barclay & Perkins. 

According to Seaward, who compiled his ^ Spirit of Wit and 
Drollery " in 1823, Meux' porter vat was then one of the sights 
of London, as noted in its way as was the great tun of Heidel- 

2 o 

S7^ Jn Praise of Ale. 

bei^. ^Amongst the wonders of Loodon/' says Seaward, 
^ may be reckoned Meux' porter vat It is 65 J feet in diameter 
and 25^ feet high. It contains 20^000 barrels of porter, worth 
40S. each, and cost ^^lo^coo." Another ^motis vat that I know 
belongs to Messrs Slee, Slee & Company, the famous vinegar 
brewers of Horsleydown. This was built when George III. 
was king, and celebrated by a dinner and ball inside it, and has 
been in use ever since. 

There is a tradition told of one of their brewers having fallen 
into this vat, in consequence of which the whole of the contents 
were run off and Oxford Street flooded with sweet wort. This 
sad and painful death is, we are sorry to say, of too frequent 
occurrence. We had a slight acquaintance with several brewers 
and brewers' men who met a similar sad ending. The tortures of 
such a death are too horrible to dwell upon, except that they may 
serve to inculcate precautions on the part of the masters, and double 
caution on the part of the men. 

There is a grim sense of humour which is somewhat revolting 
in ^ Patent Brown Stout," but as the words were once popular I 
am to a certain extent compelled to reprint them. The poem is 
by George Colman, who wrote a somewhat parallel song on a 
sausage-maker, who was minced up in his own machme and de- 
voured unconsciously by his former customers, whilst his wife was 
left lamenting — ^like Lord UUin — because there was no more hus- 
band to give such a superior flavour to the sausages. His end was 
discovered by means of a brass button m one of the delicacies 
which he had helped to flavour. Readers of the " Ingoldsby 
Legends " will remember that the body of old Sir Thomas made 
an excellent eel-trap. 

Pateht Brown Stout. 

A brewer in a country town 
Had got a monstrous repuution ; 
No other beer but his went down, 
The hosts of the surrounding sution 
Carving his name upon their mugs 
And painting it on every shutter ; 

Black Beer. 579 

Aod though some eoTioufl folks would utter 

Hints that its flavour came fiom drugs, 

Others maintain'd 'twas no such matter, 

But owing to his nx>nstrous vat. 

At least as corpulent as that 

At Heidelberg — and some said fatter. 

His foreman was a lusty black. 

An honest fellow. 

But one who had an ugly knack 

Of tasting samples as he brewed. 

Till he was stupefied and mellow. 

One day in this top-heaTy mood. 

Having to cross the yat aforesaid 

(Just then with boiling beer supplied). 

Overcome with giddiness and qualms, he 

Reeled — fell in — and nothing more said, 

But in his favourite liquor died, 

Like Clarence in his butt of Malmsey. 

In all directions round about 

The negro absentee was sought. 

But as no human noddle thought 

That our fat black was now brown stout. 

They settled that the rogue had left 

The place for debt, or crime, or theft. 

Meanwhile the beer was day by day 

Drawn into casks and sent away. 

Until the lees flowed thick and thicker. 

When, lo! outstretched upon the ground 

Once nx>re their missing friend they found, 

As they had often done — ^in liquor. 

See, cried his moralizbg master, 

I always knew the fellow drank hard. 

And prophesied some sad disaster; 

His &te should other tipplers strike. 

Poor Mungo! there he welters like 

A toast at bottom of a tankard 1 

Next mom a publicao, whose tap 


580 In Praise of Ale. 

Had help'd to drain the vat so dry. 
Not having heard of the mishap, 
Came to demand a fresh supply. 
Protesting loudly that the last 
All previous specimens surpass'd, 
Possessmg a much richer gusto 
Than formerly it ever used to, 
And begging, as a special favour. 
Some more of the exact same flavour. 
Zounds! cried the brewer, that's a task 
More difficult to grant than ask — 
Most gladly would I give the smack 
Of the last beer to the ensumg, 
But where am I to find a black 
And boil him down at every brewing ? 

Perhaps the earliest mention of porter is given by Mr H. J. 
Riley in Notes and Queries^ August 12 th, 1854: — 

<'I find porter referred to in Nicholas Amherst's Terrae 
FiSus for May 22nd, 1721 : — 'We had rather dine at a cook's 
shop upon beef, cabbage, znd porter^ than tug at an oar, or rot in 
a dark, stinking dungeon.' This is probably the very earliest 
mention in print of porter." 

One enterprising publican, about sixty years ago, with a view 
to popularise the new drink, perpetrated the following atrocious 
pun in the way of a signboard and on his pots, on which were 
engraved a recumbent figure of Britannia, with the motto — 

" Pray support her." 

The following anecdote of that queen of song, Malibran, shows 
how porter used to support her in her most arduous undertakings. 
It is told by the late Alfred Bunn : — 

<' On the occasion of the first performance of the < Maid of 
Artois,' Malibran played the first two acts in such a flood of 
triumph that she was determined, by almost superhuman efiR)rt8, 
to continue its glory to the final fall of the curtain. < I went,' 
says Bunn, ' into her dressing-room previous to the commencement 
of the third act to ask her how she felt, and she replied : *^ Very 

Black Beer. 581 

tired, but " — and her eye mddenljr lighted up — ** you angry deril, 
if yoa will contiive to get me a pint of porter into the detert Kene, 
you ihall bate an eocore to youi £iule." Had I been dealing 
with any other peiibrmer I ihould periupt bare bentated in com> 
plying with the requcR that might have been dangerout in iu 
Bpplicaiioo at the moment, but to check Malibraa'a powen wat 
to anoihitate them, I therefore arranged that behbd the pillar of 
drifted nod, 00 which ibe falli in a Rite of exhaoatioo towarda 
the dote of the deaen aceDe, a tmall aperture ihould be made in 
the ttage. Through that apemue a pewter [HOt of porter wai 
conTeyed to the parched lips of this rare child of toog, which ao 
rerived her after the terrible exeniooi the scene led to that ibe 
decthfied the audience, and had nrength to repeat the charm 
with the finale to the " Maid of Artoi^" The Dovelty of the 
circunutance K> tickled her fancy, and the draught itaelf waa k> 
extremely refreihing, that it wat arranged, during the tubtequent 
run of the opera, for the negro alate at the head of the procenion 
to bare in the gourd impended at bii neck the lame quantity of 
the nme beverage, to be applied to her lipi on hii firtt beholding 
the apparendjr dying Iioline.'" 

The lait time Madame Paiu wai in England, a lady of high 
diitinction aaked her if ihe drank ai much porter ai uiual. " Ha, 
nua cara, prendo haif-anJ-half aAena." 

Malibnn wai the very antitbeaii of the mazier whot when 
aiked by his inamorata, "Do you tike Meyerbeer?" replied, 
" Well, to tell the truth, I don't know ; I never drank it." How 
unlike thii inanity wat young Tom Brown, when, on hii £rtt 
jonnicy to Harrow, he and hia father put up at the famout old 
coaching houie, the Peacock, at Iilington, which, by the way, 
(till floufiibei in a green old age but with modeniiaed company 
and Mirroundingi. 

Tom, being nunntoned to Mpper, regaled himielf in one 
of the bright little boxei of the Peacock colTee-room, on the 
beef-iteak and unlimited oyNer-aauce and brown nout (taated 
then for the fint time — a day to be marked for ever by Tom 
with a white none) ; at fint attended to the excellent advice 
which bit &thrr bcitowed. 

582 In Praise of AU. 

Then again at one of the resting-places, after a rattling spin on 
the four-horse coach along the great north road, a fresh-looking 
barmaid serves them each with a glass of early purl as they stand 
before the fire, coachman and guard exchanging business remarks. 
The purl warms the cockles of Tom's heart, and makes him 

<< Rare tackle that, sir, of a cold morning,'' said the coachman, 
smiling. " Time's up." 

Then, at the end of another stage, where the coachman is two 
minutes before his time, he rolls down from the box and into the 
inn. The guard rolls off behind. ^Now, sir," says he to 
Tom, <^ you just jump down, and 111 give you a drop of some- 
thing to keep the cold out" 

*' An early purl " does the business hx more effectually, and 
without the unpleasant after-effects which the stiff glass of 
brandy and water has upon the bulk of passengers* 

Here is another porter story, from Seward, 1823, touching the 
then Alderman Calvert and his entire : — 

This gentleman, as well as the generality of London brewers, 
had a number of public-houses belonging to him. One of these, 
in a low neighbourhood, which he had let on a trivial considera- 
tion, at length increased so high in its demand for his entire that 
the alderman, amazed at the consumption, as he seldom heard of 
any company being seen there in the day-time, called upon the 
landlord, expressing his surprise at the circumstance, no person 
being seen in the house in the day-time. The landlord told his 
worship that if he would call in the evening his curiosity would 
be amply gratified, but added that if the quality of his beer were 
not bettered he might lose some of his principal customers. The 
alderman attended, and, the better to make his observations, was 
prevailed upon by the landlord to put on one of his old great 
coats, a slouched hat, &c. He was then, with some apology by 
the former, introduced into a back room nearly filled with the 
halt, the lame, and the blind, who had lost all their infirmities in 
the plenitude of his porter. After the mutual relation of their 
day's adventures, songs, &c., it was proposed, as usual, to one of 
the oldest of them, who acted as president, to name the supper. 

Black Beer. 583 

from, whether he had not before noticed the new gaest or not, 
fixing hit eye8 upon the knight^ he exclaimed, ^For nipper 
to-night, I think, we matt have an alderman hatg m cbamt,** 
While this was acceded to by the whole company, the alderman, 
thinking he was discovered, and that they meant to do him ill, 
made a precipitate retreat out of the room, and communicated with 
much embarrassment to die landlord. His apprdiension, how- 
ever, soon subsided, as before the host could give him an explana** 
don he was called backwards to take orders for lupper, when, 
without taking any notice to the worthy brewer, he stepped to a 
poulterer's in the neighbourhood and soon returned with a fine 
turkey and link of pork sausages, which, presenting to his guest, 
he assured him, when spitted with the link of sausages to be 
roasted, was the alderman meant by the company to be hung in 
chains for supper. The adventure, continues the narrator, so 
well pleased the brewer that the melioration of die beer was 
immediately attended to. 

This story illustrates the benefits which arise to trade when the 
brewer personally looks after his own business. Goldsmith made 
a note on Calvert's porter in his descripdon of an author's bed- 
chamber — 

«* Where the Red Lion, suring o'er the way. 
Invites each passing stranger that can pay. 
Where Calvert's butt and Parson's black champagne, 
Regale the bloods and drabs of Dniry Lane." 

The following old Hiyme shows a wise resoludon on the part 
of the writer of the couplet : — 

** Of porter, cyder, beer, and wine, 
I'll take a litde at a time." 

Little and often is a good rule. In some parts of the country 
they advocate regularity — half-a-pint every half-hour. The old 
race of medicos were unanimous in prescribing ** one good drunk 
once a month " to their male padents, and both the old and the 
new school are almost unanimous in recommending stout to 
delicate invalids, and especially nursing nK>thers, and so this 

584 In Praise of Ale. 

beverage imbibed second-haod has tided many a stalwart man over 
the sickness and perils of childhood, much in the same way that 
the famous *< glass of bitter" induced convalescence to our 
gracious prince. Some doubts have been thrown on the veracity 
of this story, but if it is not true, it ought to be, at all events. 

Of late years, especially during the passing of that, in a general 
way, very excellent Bill, the Adulteration of Foods and Drugs 
Act, we heard a great deal of exaggerated nonsense about the 
sophistication of drink and the habit of publicans of putting salt 
into stout and porter to induce thirst. Now, things are bad 
enough in the way of adulteration and adulterators, undoubtedly, 
but not so black as they are painted. If salt enough were put 
into beer, either black or amber, sufficient to induce thirst, it 
would simply be unpalatable, and would so defeat its object. Oq 
the other hand, the delicate light beers of the best brewers will 
not bear tampering with. The public may therefore take that 
statement cum grano talis on the simsGa smW^bus principle. 
Whilst touching on this subject, I may as well quote Punch for 
1852, as there is a great deal of sound sense embodied within a 
little nonsense. 

The BrrrER Beer Controversy. 

<< A controversy, involving much bitterness, has lately been raging 
in the newspapers on that flattest of all subjects. Beer ; and, it is 
a remarkable fact, that some of the parties to the quarrel have 
evidently not thought * small beer ' of themselves or their com- 
modities. Somebody happened to declare that strychnine was 
used in the manufacture of bitter ale, when nearly every brewer of 
that article *' rushed into print," for the purpose of puffing his 
own peculiar beverage. One firm proposed that a commission 
should be immediately appointed to inquire whether there was 
really nothing but mischief brewing on the premises, and another 
firm offered to open its vats to the gaze of curiosity, and bring all 
its bungs into the eye of the closest scrutiny. Our old friend the 
British public is a little apt to exaggerate, when it takes it into its 
head, that it is being imposed upon, and when an article has once 
got a bad name, nothing is bad enough to meet the popular notion 

Black Beer. 585 

regarding it. For instance^ milk, which is actually nothing more 
than mere whitewash, is popularly supposed to be a compound of 
sheep's brains and other filth, by the side of which chalk is 
innocence itself; and nobody who buys a pound of sugar can be 
induced to belieye that he is not purchasing a great deal more sand 
than saccharine. Porter has been described by some who have 
taken an erroneous notion of Porter's * Statistics/ as a compound 
of Spanish liquorice and horse-flesh, though we think it would be 
difficult to trace a relation between the knacker's yard and any of 
our great London breweries. 

" Our friend, the Lancet^ by its exposure of certain tricks in the 
coffee and other trades, has made the public suspicious of neaHy 
everything that is sold for food ; and the popular supposition that 
bread consists of nothing but alum and plaster-of-Paris may soon 
agam have its partisans. For our own parts, we are not disposed 
to look at the worst side of everything, and we are inclined — 
perhaps too credulously — to believe that our tea is not all birch- 
broom, nor our port wine all sloe- juice. Everything, however 
bad, has some redeeming quality. Mankind is not all bad, and 
coffee is not all chicory. There is but one thing in the world to 
which we would refuse credit for some extenuating circumstance 
— and that article is the cheap sausage." 

I am led into this digression from remembering a number of 
excise prosecutions that were instituted at different times for 
adulteration of stout and porter by means of salt, when it was 
proved that in numerous instances the water that produced the best 
beer contained naturally more saline matter in solution than the 
excise authorities themselves allowed, and the prosecutions in con- 
sequence became abortive. This is the natural outcome of grand- 
motheHy or excessive legislation. 



** Come Jill me a Tankard^ good mine HoU^^ 

From the tipple to the tankard is an easy and natural transition 
for the cup-bearer, and hence the cup itself has always been the 
choice insignia of power, and the highest style of art and jewellery 
lavished on its production and adornment. The vases of Cellini 
are among his masterpieces, whilst the Tantalus tankards and 
^< whisding cups " of a later date are as highly embellished as 
they were ingenious. It is not so much of these chef d^ttuvres 
that I would speak, as of the more homely and ancient style of 
vessels, the borachio and the leather bottle. The praises of 
the latter have been sung in good set verse, reproduced in the 
"Antidote to Melancholy," 1682. Mr Chappell ascribes the 
song to the Restoration period, which was prolific of good songs. 

The Leather Botteu 

God bless the cow and the old cow's hide ; 
And ev'ry thing in the world beside ; 
For when we've said and done all we can, 
'Tis all for the good and use of man : 
So I hope his soul in heaven may dwell 
That first devised the leather bott^. 

What say ye to these glasses fine \ 
Faith ! they shall have no praise of mine ; 
For if you touch your glass on the brim. 
The liquor fells out and leaves none therein, 

Drinking Vessels, 587 

And though your table-cloth be ever so fine. 
There lies your beer, your ale, your wine ; 
Whereas had it been the leather bottel, 
And the stopper been in, it had been well : 
So I hope in heaven his soul will dwell 
That first devised the leather bott^I. 

What say ye to these tankards fine ? 

Faith ! they shall have no praise of mine ; 

For when the niaster doth send his man. 

To fill it with liquor as fast as he can, 

The bearer thereof then runneth away, 

And ia ne'er heard again of for many a day ; 

Whereas had it been the leather bottd, 

And the stopper been in, why all had been well : 

So I hope his soul in heaven will dwell 

That first devised the leather bott^. 

What say ye to these black jacks three ? 

Faith ! they shall have no praise from me ; 

For when a man and his wifi; are at strife, 

Which much too oft is the case in life, 

Why, then they seize on the black jack both, 

And in the scuffle they spoil the broth ; 

Not thinking that at a future day 

They must account for throwing good liquor away ; 

Whereas had it been the leather bott^, 

And the stopper been in, they could have banged away well : 

So I hope his soul in heaven will dwell 

That first devised the leather bott^l. 

And when this bott^ is quite grown old. 

And no more good liquor it will hold, 

All off its sides you may cut a clout. 

That will serve to mend your old shoes about ; 

T'other end, hang it on to a pin, 

'Twill serve to put your odd trifies in } 

588 In Praise of Ale. 

Here's a save-all for your candles' ends. 
For young beginners have need of such things : 
So I hope his soul m heaven may dwell 
That first devised the leather bott^L 

Mr Miles, in his selection of songs, gives a different version, as 
under 2 — 

Whate'er we see, where'er we go, 
Who wander daily to and fro ; 
The ships that on the sea do swim. 
And all the things the land within — 
Say what you will, do what you can. 
Are for one end — the use of man : 

So joy to him, where'er he dwell, 

Who first found out the leather bott^l. 

Now, what do you say to these cans of wood ? 
Oh ! no, in faith they cannot be good ; 
For if the bearer fall by the way, 
Why on the ground the liquor doth lay ; 
But had it been in a leather bott^l, 
Although he had fallen all had been well : 
So joy to him, where'er he dwell, &c. 

Then what do you say to these glasses fine ? 
Oh I they shall have no praise of mine ; 
For if you chance to touch the brim, 
Down {Mb the glass and liquor therein ; 
But had it been in a leather bott^l, 
And the stopple in, all had been well : 

So joy to him, where'er he dwell, &c. 

Then what do you think of these black pots three ? 
If a man and his wife should not agree, 
Why they'll tug and pull till their liquor doth spill ; 
In a leather bott^l they may tug their fill. 

Drinking Vesselt. 589 

And poll nray till their amu do ache, 
Aod yet their liquor no hann can take : 
So joy to him, where'er he dwell, &c. 

At noon the hayoiakere nt them dowiii 
To drink from th«r bottils of ale out-browD i 
In tummer, too, when the weather it warm, 
A good (iill bottJl will do them no harm. 
Then the bd* and the lanet hepa to tattle, 
But what would they do without this bottd ? 
So joy to him, where'er he dwell, &c 

And when the bottil at latt grow* old, 
And will good Uquor do longer hold. 
Out of the aide you may make a clout, 
To mend your iboea when they're worn out ; 
Or take and hang it up on a pin, 
'Twill Krre to put hinge* and odd thingi m ; 
So joy to him, where'er he dwell, &c. 

The leather bottle wu introduced into Europe at an early date. 
One of the olde« and moR common form it tha preaerred in 
the ami of the Bottlemakert* Company of London, who bear 
argent on a che*roo between three bottles taile, at many hunttog- 
homi of the fint. Theae heraldic bottlea are oblong, flat at the 
ends, and narrower at the upper edge where the mouth ia ntuated. 

The keg wat alio one of the very early (brmi of the leather 
bottle. The Britith Muaeom potKue* a ipedraen of about the 
capacity of a quart, which it encircled by fire projecting banda 
imiudve of boopa, and iti cylindrical mouth bat a buttrea* on 
each nde, perforated for the admiuion of tbe autpending corda. 
A leather bottle of allied form, but without tbe aurmuoding pro- 
jectioni, may nill be leen a* a gilded ngn above the entrance door 
of the banking home of Meiara Hoare, No. 37 Fleet Street. 
The " Leather Bottle" in Leather Lane, Holbom, haa another 
^wciroen appropriate to the diitrict. 

One exceedingly rare form of leathern bottle waa diacoveird 
MHiK yean ago in St Ann'a Well, near Nottingham, and deacribed 

590 In Praise of Ale. 

as << Robin Hood's pocket pistol.'' Mr Syer Cunning describes 
it as being in the shape of a pistol of the 1 6th century, about 
eighteen inches in length. Four strokes on each side, in place of 
the lock, have been taken for the date 1 1 1 2, and a band on the 
underpart has in it two perforations for cords. 

Most of the leathern bottles were contriyed for carriage at the 
side of pilgrims, trayellers, and labourers. 

** The shepherd's homely curds. 

His cold thin drink out of his leathern bottle." 

Henry VLf ii., 3. 

Heywood, m his << Philocothonista ; or, the Drunkard opened, 
dissected, and anatomized," 1635, ^J^* — '^ Other bottles we 
have of leather, but they are most used amongst the shepherd's 
and harvest people of the country." 

^^ A leather bottle we know is good. 
Far better than glasses or cans of wood ; 
For when a man 's at work in the field, 
Your glasses and pots no comfort will yield ; 
But a good leather bott^ standing by 
Will raise his spirits whenever he's dry." 

Though the leather bottle in Heywood's time was chiefly used 
by the peasantry, yet at one time, suitably adorned, they graced 
the tables of the great and gifted. At one time it was a favourite 
tavern sign. It still exists in various parts of the country, at 
Northfleet in Kent, Lewknor in Oxfordshire, and the Historic 
Leather Bottel, in Garret Lane, Wandsworth, immortalised as 
the scene of Foote's Mayor of Garret, and by the annual election 
of that dignitary : — 

** In order due to Wandsworth town ; 
Whence to the Leather Bottle driven. 
With shouts that rent the welkin given." 

Undoubtedly the leathern bottle is of great antiquity through-* 
out an immense area of the globe, and leathern bottles have been 
held in high esteem among all ranks and conditions of men. The 

Drinking Vessels. 59 1 

idea wat doubtless taken firom the borachio or the skias of animals, 
which m earlier days served for the conveyance and storage of 
wine or water. The black Jack needs no particular description. 
It was a favourite vessel for ale, and occasionally made of Gar- 
gantuan proportions. They have some good specimens in the 
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. 

** Old Simon, the cellarer, keeps a rare store 
Of Malmsey and Malvoisie, 
And Cyprus, and who shall say how many naore. 
For a chary old soul is he. 
For a chary old soul is he. 
Of sack and canary he never does fail, 
And all the year round there is brewing of ale, 
Yet he never aileth, he quaintly doth say. 
While he keeps to his sober six flagons a-day. 
But oh ! oh I oh 1 his nose doth shew. 
How oft the black Jack to his lips doth go." 

One of the best songs in praise of the beer jug is the well-known 
one that occurs in the comic opera of ^The Poor Soldier," 
ascribed to John O'Keefe ; the music by Shield. The song itself 
is said to have been imitated from the Latin of Htenmynuu 
jimaltheui, by the Rev. Francis Fawkes, M.A., the date being 
1761. Before the song comes off, the following dialogue takes 
place between the pliable priest (Father Luke) and the artful 
Dermot : — 

ScEiTE IL — Outside Demaot's Cottage. 
[^Enter Father Luke and Dermai.^ 

Father Luke, Well now, Dermot, I've come to this house 
with you — what's this business \ 

Dermot, Oh, sir, I'll teU you. 

Father Luke, Unburthen your conscience to me, child— «peak 
freely — you know I'm your spiritual confessor. — Have you tapped 
the harrd of ale yet? 

Dermot, That I have, sir, and you shall taste it 

\Exit into the houee. 

592 In Praise of Ale. 

Father Luke. Ajt^ be wants to come round me for my ward 
Kathleen. [^ Re-enter Dermot with ale.'] My dear child, what's 

DermoL Only your favourite brown jug, sir. 

Father Luke [taking i/]. Now, child, why will you do these 
things? [drinks.'] 

Dermot [aside], VW prime 'him well before I mention 
Kathleen. It's a hard heart that a cup can't soften. 

Father Luke. I think, Dermot, that jug and I are old acquaint- 

Dermot, That you are indeed, sir. [Sings,] 

Dear Sir, this Brown Jug. 

Dear Sir,* this brown jug, that now foams with mild ale 
(In which I will drink to sweet Nan of the vale). 
Was once Toby Philpot, a thirsty old soul 
As e'er crack'd a bottle or fathomed a bowl ; 
In boozing about 'twas his praise to excel. 
And among jolly topers he bore off the bell. 

It chanced, as in dog-days he sat at his ease 
In his 6ower-woven arbour, as gay as you please, ' 
With a friend and a pipe, pufHng sorrows away. 
And with honest old stingo was soaking his clay, 
His breath doors of life on a sudden were shut, 
And he died full as big as a Dorchester butt. 

His body, when long in the ground it had lain. 

And time into clay had resolved it again, 

A potter found out, in its covert so snug. 

And with part of fat Toby he formed this brown jug. 

Now sacred to friendship, and mirth, and mild ale ; 

So here's to my lovely sweet Nan of the vale. 

Certainly, old Toby bequeathed his name to a long and noble race 
of jugs. To my mind they are the beau ideal of beer tankards. 

* In some versions this commences, **Dear Tom, this brown jug. 


Drinking Veuelt. 593 

and are made in perfectioa at Meun Jamei Stiff & Son*, of 
Lambeth. Menrg Doulton turn out noble tpeciment of drinking 
jugs and Tcisel*. I might luggeit to thcM firm* that reproductiocu 
of Black Jacks and Greybeardi would be a " good Une." 

There it, however, toioewhat of a nMttuafy eleDKOt in the 
foregoing long which tempu one to ditcoune of tombi^ of wonni, 
aod epitaphk Shaketpeare worked the Toby PHilpot idea aome- 
what in Hamlet, who, by the way, wu a morbid youth, and, like 
wacherwomen, " enjoyed bad health :" — 

** To what baae u9« we may retnni, Horatio I Why may 
not imaginadoD trace the noUe duat of Alexander till he find it 
•toppbg a bung bole i " 

Then, again : — 

" Imperial Cxaar, dead and turned to day. 
Might nop a hole to keep the wind away." 

We remember reading an ejntaph embodying the above aenti- 
ment*, u follow* ; — 

" Here in thU grave lie* Catberioe Gray, 
ChaD£ed to a tenielew lump of clay ; 
By earth and clay she got her pelf, 
And now ihe'i turned to clay benelf. 

" Ye wceinng frienda, let me adriie, 
Abate your tean and dry your eyes i 
Who knowi, but in the coorae of years, 
In aome tall pitcher or brown pan. 
She m her ihop may be agno." 

We (uppoae the following punning line* were intended to give 
pleanire. It may be wme defect of ear or want of the poetic 
Tiiion, but they Kem atupid and vulgar m the extreme. Tbey are 
nid to commemorate a Liverpool brewer: — 
" Poor John Scott lie* buried here j 
Although he wa* both bale and ttout 
Death Rretchcd him on the bitter Uer r 
In another world he hopa ahoot." 

594 I^ Praise of Ale. 

Epitaph writers seem to have differed aa to the benefitt of 
ale-drinking. One writes : — 

** Here old John Randall lies, who telling of his tale, 
Liv'd three-Kore years and ten — such virtue was in ale* 
Ale was his meat, ale was his drink, ale did his heart rerive. 
And if he could have drunk his ale, he still had been alive.** 

Old Randall, like Boniface, loved his ale old and strong. 
There is no virtne in weak beer, as the martyr who lies buried in 
the Cathedral churchyard of Winchester would bear witness. 

The inhabitants of Wmtometuis are very proud of the recording 
tombstone : — " To the memory of Thomas Fletcher, a grenadier 
in the North Battalion of the Hampshire Militia, who died of a 
fever, contracted by drinking small beer when hot, the 12th of 
May 1 764," The epitaph is :— 

^ Here rests in peace a Hampshire Grenadier, 
Who caught his death by drinking cold small beer ; 
Soldiers, be warned by his untimely fall, 
And when you're hot drink strong, or none at all." 

On Brawne. 
Here Brawne, the quondam beggar, lies, 

Who counted by his tale, 
Full six-score winters in his life — 

Such virtue is in ale. 
Ale was his meat, ale was his drink, 

Ale did him long reprive, 
And could he still have drunk his ale, 

He had been still alive. 

There is a striking similarity between Randall's and Brawne's 
epitaphs, which reflects on the literary honour of one of the writers. 

On Ma Pepper, 

A Publican at St John's, Stamford, Lmcolnshire. 

Hot by name, but mild by nature, 
He brewed good ale for every creature ; 
He brewed good ale, and sold it too. 
And unto each man gave his due. 

Drinking Vessels. 595 

Here is a classical ode 00 the breaking of a china quart mug 
belonging to the buttery, Lincoln College, Oxford. It appeared 
originally in the « Annual Register " of 1 776. The ode, which 
points a naoral and adorns a tale, is particularly good. 

** Amfhora turn mermt tarn fretiota mart.** 

Whene'er the cruel hand of death 

Untimely stops a fiiy'rite's breath, 

Muses in plaintive numbere tell 

How Wd he liv'd, how mourned he fell — 

Catullus waird his sparrow's fate. 

And Gray imnaortalised his cat 

Thrice tuneful bards I could I but chime so clever, 

My <{uart, my honest quart, should live for ever. 

How weak is all a mortal's pow'r 
T' avert the death-devoted hour ! 
Nor can a shape or beauty save 
From the sure conquest of the grave. 
In vain the butler's choicest care, 
The master's wish, the bursar's prayer ! 
For when life's lengthen'd to its longest span 
Anna itself must fall as weU as man. 

Can I forget how oft my quart 

Hath sooth'd my care and warm'd my heart ? 

When barley lent its balmy aid, 

And all its liquid charms display'd ! 

When orange and the nut-brown toast 

Swam mantling round the spicy coast ! 

The pleasing depth I view'd with sparkling eyes. 

Nor envy'd Jove the nectar of the skies. 

The sideboard, on that &tal day. 
When you in glittering ruins lay, 
Moum'd at thy loss. In guggling tone 
Decanters poured out their moan — 

2 p 2 

596 In Praise of Alt. 

A dimness hung on every glass — 
Joe* wondered what the matter was^ 
Cooks self-contracted freed the frantic beer. 
And sympathising tankards dropped a tear. 

Where are the flowery wreaths that bound 

In rosy wings thy chaplet round \ 

The azure stars whose glitt'ring rays 

Promised a happier length of days ? 

The trees that on thy border grew. 

And blossom'd with eternal blue ? 

Trees, stars, and flow'rs are scattered on he floor. 

And all thy brittle beauties are no more. 

Had'st thou been form'd of coarser earth. 

Had Nottingham but giv'n thee birth ! 

Or had the variegated side 

Of Stafford's sable hue been dy'd, 

Thy stately fabric had been sound, 

Tho' tables tumbled on the ground — 

The finest mould the soonest will decay ; 

Hear tlus, ye ^, for you yourselves are clay. 

A broken glass is a fittbg pendant to a broken pitcher, moral 
and alL 

Lines by a Bot on his Sister's Breaking an Ale Glass. 

See, sister, in this shattered glass. 
The fate of many a pretty lass : 
Woman, like glass, is frail and weak. 
Is apt to slip, is apt to break : 
Therefore, guide every step with caution, 
For just like glass is Reputation. 
Both broke to pieces in once falling. 
For ever lost, and past recalling. 

J. L., 1749. 

* The college butler. 

Drinking Vessels. 597 

The Barley Mow song gives a good schedule of drinking 
thy the jolly brown bowl, nipperkin, quarter-pint, half-pint, 
pint, quart, pottle, gallon, half-anker, anker, through the hogs- 
head, pipe, up to the river and ocean, which last might be 
described as a big drink. The squab-shaped earthen vessel in 
which labourers carry their drink is the same shape as those 
which are dug out of the tumuli which abound in the neighbour- 
hood of Salisbury Plain, and through Wiltshire and Hampshire 

Robert Bums wrote some good stanzas in praise of 

The Big-belued Bottle. 

No churchman am I, for to rail and to write ; 
No. statesman nor soldier, to plot or to fight; 
No sly man of business, contriving a snare ; 
For a big-bellied bottle's the whole of my care. 

The peer I don't envy — I give him his bow ; 
I scorn not the peasant, though ever so low ; 
But a club of good fellows, like those that are here. 
And a bottle like this, are my glory and care. 

Here passes the squire on his brother — his horse ; 
There centum per centum, the cit with his purse ; 
But see you •* the Crown," how it waves in the air ? 
There a Ing-bellied bottle still eases my care. 

The wife of my bosom, alas I she did die ; 
For sweet consolation to church I did fly ; 
I found that old Solomon proved it fair. 
That a big-bellied bottle's a cure for all care* 

1 once was persuaded a venture to make ; 
A letter informed me that all was to wreck ; 
But the pursy old landlord just waddled upsuirs, 
With a glorious bottle, that ended my cares. 

598 In Praise of Ale. 

'< Life's cares they are comforts," * a maxim laid down 
By the bard, what d'ye call him ? that wore the black gown ; 
And faith I agree with th' old prig to a hair, 
For a big-bellied bottle's a heaven of a care. 

( Verse added In a Masonic Lodge. ) 

Then fill up a bumper, and make it o'erflow. 
And honours Masonic prepare for to throw ; 
May every true brother of the Compass and Square 
Have a big-bellied bottle when harass'd with care. 

Here is an account of Beer Duels which puts our English 
topers in the shade when compared with the corresponding usage 
of the Kneipe, No one must drink solus. If anyone ventures to 
take a solitary swig, he is compelled to drain a full measure to 
the health of the company generally. The proper course is to 
drink to someone else, specifying the quantity the drinker proposes 
to imbibe. The person honoured is bound to accept the chal- 
lenge, which he may do with a simple " drink away," or some 
equivalent phrase, when the challenger is bound to drink off, 
within the next five minutes, the quantity he has named, and 
within fiNt minutes more the challenged must drink to him, '* in 
response," the like quantity. If either feil in his obligation, ex- 
communication is the result. But the challenged party may not 
be content simply to accept the challenge. Stirred with noble 
ardour, he may '^ go higher," doubling the quantity named* The 
challenger may do the same, and so on, until the total quantity 
reaches a maximum of eight tankards, which are drunk off alter- 
nately, one by one, with an interval of five beer-minutes between 
each. The beer drunk by the challenged, '* in response," is not 
allowed " a double debt to pay." Probably some craven soul in 
the past devised the plan of saving his brains and his pocket by 
making the same beer which he drank in response to one person, 
also serve the purpose of a challenge to another. 

• Young's «* Night Thoughts." 




And what gave thee that jolly red nose ? 
Cinnamon and ginger, nutmeg t and cloves ^ 
And that's what gave me thatjoBy red nose, 

I HATi frequently alluded to the wassail and the coroposttion 
of lainh*s wool. It is a matter of regret that some of the more 
comforting dnnks have gone out of date. When beer was the 
staple drink, rooming, noon, and night, it was natural that our 
ancestors would prefer their breakfast beer warm and their ** night- 
caps " flavoured, hence the Tariety of their comforting drinks. 
«< Egg flip " is not to be sneezed at ; *^ egg hot " and ^ early 
purl," which warms the cockles of your heart in winter, is com- 
mendable ; whilst for a comforting drink we would back ^'lamb's 
wool" and «< dog's nose" against the finest ''gin sling" or 
^ brandy cocktail '^ ever concocted. Southey, in his " Common- 
place Book," records the process of roasting porter, a once 
fashionable tipple, as practised by Sir J. Beaumont : — 

** He had a set of silver cups made for the purpose. They 
were brought red-hot to table, the porter was poured into them 
in that state^ and it was a pleasure to see with what alarm an in- 
experienced guest ventured to take the cup at the moment that 
the liquor foamed over and cooled it. The e£fect must have 
been much the same as that of putting a hot poker in a pot of 
porter, which I have often seen done at Westminster ; or a piece 
of red-hot pottery, which we sometimes use here." 

It will be seen that the chief requisites for the foregoing 
luxury, next to the porter, was a set of silver cups and a furnace 
in which to get them up red-hot. We take it that a pewter 
tankard would not sund the heat It is not everyone that can 

6oo In Praise of Aie. 

afford silyer tankards for such a purpose ; but, as Southey points 
out, for ordinary people a red-hot poker will answer the porpoae. 
Apropos of warm drink, the following ode in praise of warm 
beer confirms our ideas on the subject. 

In Commendation of Warm Beer« 
We care not what stem grandsires now can say, 
Smce reason doth and ought to bear the sway ; 
Vain gran d a m es* saws ne'er shall make me think 
That rotten teeth comes most by warmM drink. 
No, grandsire, no; if you had used to warm 
Your morning's draughts, as I do, &rre less harm 
Your raggie lungs had felt ; not half so soon. 
For want of teeth to chew, you'd use the spoon* 
Grandame, be silent now, if you be wise. 
Lest I betray your shrinking niggardize ; 
I wot you well no phync ken, nor yet 
The name or nature of the vitall heat 
'Twas more to save your fire, and fear that I 
Your pewter cups should melt or smokifie. 
Than skill or care of me, which made you swear, 
God wot, and stamp to see me warm my beer. 
Though grandsiri growl, though grandame iwear^ I hold 
That man unvnte that drmkt hu Rquor cold. 

The evils of cold beer and the virtues of warm ditto are well 
set out in the following reprint, to which the foregoing ode 
formed a sort of preface : — 

Warm Beer; or, a Treatise wherein is declared by Many 
Reasons, that Beer so qualified is far more wholesome than 
that which is drunk cold. With a Confutation of such 
Objections that are made against it ; published for the Pre- 
servation of Health.* 

" To the Reader. 
^ Errors long used make us both blind and deaf, be the truth 
never so apparent, not unlike the owl, as Aristotle saith, whose 

♦ Cambridge: Printed by R. D. for Henry Overton, and aie to be sold 
at his shop entering into Pope's Head Alley out of Lumbard Street in 
London. 1641 

Warm Ale, 60 1 

sight the fiinbeams dull ; yet I doubt not but some will take it 
thankfully, and making use will take benefit thereby, assuring 
tbemselfes I write nothing here, which I hold not for the truth, 
and have made long experience of, both by myself, and divers of 
my friends. I have therefore published it in our native tongue, 
respecting a general good, referring the commendations of the 
thing to the proof, and us all to the Almighty. Amen. 

^'Paulus Jovius writeth that Candella Scala, Prince of Verona, 
being hot in his armour, drank out of a fountain cold water, and 
presently died. He writeth also that the Dolphin of France, 
son to Francis the French King, then in his time being, although 
he were a lusty strong gentleman, yet he being hot at tennis, 
and drinking cold drink fell sick and died. The like happened 
to Pompeius Columna who was Viceroy in Naples for ChaHes 
the fifth. Amatus Lusitanus, an excellent physician m his 
time, in his century rehearseth three histories of young noen who 
died drinking cold water and wine, in their heat. And of this I 
know many examples, and not long since in Sussex (where I 
dwell), at a place called Marfield, a hammerman coming in hot 
and drinking cold drink fell mad, and within short space so died. 

*« To the mother also cold beer is hurtfuL About the year of 
our Lord 1 590 I was with a gentlewoman, one Mr Clark's wife 
of Jarcks Hill in Kent, in whom, labouring of a cancer in her 
matrix^ I tried this experience, that giving her beer actually cold 
she would immediately be in the greatest pain in the worid, but 
give it her hot and she felt none. Another woman dwelt in 
Honndsditch, at the sign of the Guilded Cup, seven yeare since, 
who likewise labouring of a cancer in the matrix^ if you had given 
her cold beer, it made her be in great pain, if hot, in nothing so 
much : by which it is evident that the beer did pass so cold, as 
that it gave a sensible feeling of the difference. Therefore it is 
not to be doubted but that the actual cold was an enemy, being so 
much more misliked of nature then the hot. 

** When I did always drink cold beer, and now and then a cup 
of wine, I was very often troubled with exceeding pain in the head, 
which did much distemper me ; also with stomachache, toothache, 

6o2 In Praise of Ale. 

cough, coldy and many other rheumatic diseases : but since my 
drinking my beer (small or strong) actually hot as blood, I have 
never been troubled with any of the former diseases ; but have 
always continued in very good health constantly (blessed be God), 
yet I use not to drink wine, because I find that hot beer (without 
wine) keepeth the stomach in a continual moderate concoction : 
but wine and hot beer doth over-heat the stomach, and inflameth 
the liver (eq)ecially in cold stomachs which have hot livers), and 
men oftentimes drink wine to heat their cold stomachs, they 
thereby also inflame their livers, and so the helping of the cold 
stomach is the means of the destruction of the liver. Hot beer 
doth prevent this evil, for it heateth the stomach and causeth good 
digestion, and nourisheth and strengthened! the liver. And that 
beer actually made hot doth cause good concoction, you may 
conceive it by this comparison. The stomach is compared to a 
pot boiling over the fire with meat ; now if you put cold water 
therein it ceaseth the boiling, till the fire can overcome the cold- 
ness of the water, and the more water you put in, the longer it 
will be before it boil again, and so long time you hinder the meat 
from being boiled : so it is with the stomach. If you drink cold 
beer, you hinder the digestion of the meat in the stomach ; and 
the more cold you drink, the more you hinder it. Also, cold 
water doth not only hinder the boiling of the meat in the pot, but 
also causeth the meat to be hard, so that if it should boil six hours 
longer than ordinary, yet still the meat will be hard and never 
tender and soft. Right so it is with the stomach. Cold beer 
doth not only hinder concoction, but also hardeneth the meat in 
the stomach, as you may see by them which drink overmuch cold 
beer at or after dinner or supper. Six hours after they will vomit 
up the same meat again, as raw and undigested as if it were but 
even then eaten : which they could not have done, if they had 
not cooled their stomachs so much with cold beer : because nature 
would have digested the meat before that time. But on the 
contrary, hot water put in a boiling pot with meat, hindereth not 
the boiling thereof, neither doth make the meat hard 5 it con- 
tinueth the boiling thereof, nourishing the meat with sufficiency 
of liquor, and making it soft and tender, fit to be eaten : so in 

Warm Ale. 603 

like manner doth hot beer to the stomach : it hindereth not con- 
coction, nor hardeneth the meat in the stomach, but contrariwise, 
it continued! its concoction, and maketh it fit for the nourishment 
of the whole body. 

^ Again, as this hot beer is excellent good for the keeping of 
the stomach in good order for concoction, and consequendy good 
health ; so it